Will Leo DiCaprio be the Wolf of Oscar night?

Despite losses at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards, “Bruce Dern is still in the hunt for the Best Actor Oscar,” Charles Bright recently wrote – and I agree with his reasoning. But I’d like to replace Dern’s name with Leonardo DiCaprio and make a similar argument. I think he can really come out of nowhere and win his first Oscar for “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Now I am sure many of you think I’m insane. After all, DiCaprio, despite recently winning the Globe, is not nominated for Best Actor at tonight’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards. And aren’t the SAG’s the most reliable indicator of who is going to win? Don’t actors comprise the largest branch of the academy? Yes, yes.  But I would argue that a SAG win does not always lead to the Oscar podium.

We see recent examples of actors missing out on SAG nominations and then going on to win the Oscar. Last year’s Best Supporting Actor champ Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”) won the Globe, missed out a SAG nod, and then snagged the Oscar. And of course, Marcia Gay Harden was on nobody’s radar, including SAG, when she came out of nowhere to win the Supporting Actress Oscar for “Pollock.” So while it would be a rare occurrence, an Oscar win for DiCaprio would not be unprecedented.

Another factor to consider is that the film’s profile has grown significantly in recent weeks. After missing out on early critics’ prizes and underperforming at the Golden Globes, “The Wolf of Wall Street” performed admirably in this week’s Oscar nominations. Sure, it only received five nominations, but those bids were in the big categories – Best Picture, Actor, Director, Adapted Screenplay, and a surprise nomination in the Supporting Actor race for Jonah Hill. The film also is doing impressive numbers at the box office, quickly approaching $100 million. The film’s showing at the Oscars will most likely only increase its visibility and box office. If the Academy wants to reward the film, this is the most likely category in which to do so.

And despite the fact that Dern is the oldest nominee in the category, a win for DiCaprio could also be labeled as a “Veteran’s Achievement Award.” With his career in its third decade, Oscar voters might welcome the opportunity to reward DiCaprio at long last after defeats for his three previous nominations: supporting actor for “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993) and lead actor for “The Aviator” (2004) and “Blood Diamond” (2006).

Plus, his performance has many of the qualities that academy voters love to vote for: he gives a larger-than-life performance of a real-life person who abuses drugs and alcohol. This, combined with his fine performance in the summer’s box office hit “The Great Gatsby,” may give Oscar voters the reason to finally give Leo the Oscar. And Leo, as far as I am concerned, passed his Oscar audition with great speeches at both the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Golden Globes.

Now I am under no illusions that DiCaprio is a front runner. Matthew McConaughey is certainly out front, especially after wins at the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards. Many actors have also fallen victims to the academy’s reluctance to award the sexy, handsome Hollywood leading man (the Slap-the-Stud Syndrome). McConaughey could get around that with his daring physical transformation in “Dallas Buyers Club.” That aside, DiCaprio has been far more consistent with great performances in Oscar-winning films. Perhaps if there is an upset in one of the most competitive Best Actor races in years, Leo may become the beneficiary.

Make your Oscar prediction for Best Actor below.

 

7 thoughts on “Will Leo DiCaprio be the Wolf of Oscar night?

  1. Despite there being enough “number one” votes (from enthusiastic “Wolf of Wall Street” fans) for DiCaprio to get a Best Actor nomination, I think the majority of voters won’t think his was as good a performance as those of Ejiofor, McConaughey, Dern, or Bale.

  2. Couldn’t agree more, It’s going to be a VERY close race at the oscars, I think the votes will be split, and Leo could easily pick up a lot of votes! – The Buzz factor online for Leo is the most for any of the actors, and with a long wait for the oscars, I think the STAR POWER will come into play big time.

  3. Leo is due and his passion for this project and some of the best reviews of his career should bring him a well deserved Oscar for Best Actor. The SAG awards are going to continue to become less of a factor with the earlier nomination date by Oscar. The SAG awards are Hollywood’s biggest night of self promotion, where the top 2% of the membership honor each other. 95% of SAG members don’t make enough money to qualify for Health and Dental Insurance. The SAG office also closed their commercial residual department, making it harder for members to ensure they are paid commercial residuals correctly. SAG’s ultra low budget contract, to keep in good with the Producers Guild, has effectively lowered actors salaries over the last 10 years significantly. But the A Lister’s don’t tell the truth to the media, but ask a group of day players (90% of members) and they will confirm.

  4. This is a great article! I think that Leo can and should win for The Wolf of Wall Street. Dallas Buyers Club will win 2 Oscars (for Best Supporting Actor and Best Hair & Make-Up) and it shouldn’t win a 3rd while The Wolf of Wall Street (the better movie) goes empty-handed. Leo has been an industry leader and a legend in his own right with many proclaiming him as the best or one of the best actors of his generation. It’s been 20 years since DiCaprio’s first Oscar Nomination and it would be a great way to reward him and the movie by giving him the Oscar for Best Actor. His narrative is so powerful that the Golden Globe and the recent BFCA wins would further increase his chances. The SAGs tonight will have little relevance since both DiCaprio and Amy Adams weren’t even nominated. The voting is more than a month away – plenty of time for Leo to pick up steam. The good-will for him is HUGE!

  5. If not Matt, then Chiwetel or Dern. No way for Leo! Waltz wasn’t nominated for SAG last yr bc he was consider a Lead Actor there.

  6. I think Leo is due for an Oscar. He is an incredibly versatile actor. I feel like the Oscars a lot of times didn’t want to give him his due because of his good looks/huge success/popularity in the film industry. He’s a truly talented actor who always choose different roles. There is no type casting for him because he picks different characters to play. Not to mention that big name directors all want to work with him because they see his talent. I hope the Oscar committee will be fair to him. I saw him in What’s Eating Gilbert’s Grapes, and he was fantastic. And that was when he was only 19. His roles in The Aviator and Blood Diamond were equally amazing. I just think he deserves the Oscar the most. It’s just a matter of whether the Oscar committee will actually be fair and unbiased.

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