Let the hate begin. I know I may get a lot of flack for this but it is the truth. Mind you, I am not saying he’s never deserved an Oscar nor am I saying he’s untalented. But what I am saying, is that there are actors out there who have been snubbed longer and more often than Mr. DiCaprio. His fans, who I’d say wouldn’t be fans if it weren’t for his good looks, will surely wish to hurt me after this but movie fans and those passionate about the art form of cinema will hear me out and understand where I’m coming from.
Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated for an acting Oscar four times, and some say he should have more. People think he should’ve been nominated for more- naturally. The reason I bring up this point is that Leonardo DiCaprio, for the past ten years or so, has had a fan base that complains about him “never winning an Oscar” and that “they’ll never give him Oscar.” Some say he’s the second coming of Pacino. But where are the millions of adoring fans carping about Gary Oldman not having an Oscar? Or Donald Sutherland? Or Glenn Close? Or Michelle Pfeiffer? Or Annette Bening? Or Max Von Sydow? We’re talking about actors who have been performing their craft at the highest level for over 50 years and none of them were particularly considered sex symbols in their prime eras. But then, the biggest sex symbol of his era has a following of fans that would protest AMPAS themselves over the fact Leo hasn’t received an Oscar. And that is a travesty. Not because Leo isn’t talented, but because other actors with a larger legend don’t have the backing of those same people. Perhaps they don’t because the merit given by the fans would have nothing to do with their physical appearance.
If DiCaprio’s fan base fought passionately over his Oscar-less career because they feel he’s made great art and would fight for his award, it would be different. But Glenn Close has been acting for four decades and has gone through six nominations without the precious prize. Where’s the outrage for her? Someone who’s as big a legend as she is deserves such support. The woman has made her mark with great films such as Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, and 101 Dalmations. Broadway has seen her immense talent and she’s succeeded there. She’s mastered the medium of television as well with the hit show Damages. Yet there aren’t multitudes of young adoring fans defending her case for an Oscar. Is it because she’s not a world renowned beauty?
Or let’s take even better examples. Gary Oldman, one of our most versatile actors for more than thirty years has just a single nomination. It came three years ago. But no one is fawning over him and beating up AMPAS for not rewarding him. Donald Sutherland is maybe the greatest actor without a nomination. For more than forty years he has given consistently great performances in films such as MASH, Ordinary People and Day of the Locusts. He’s entranced us on both TV and the Silver Screen, yet he hasn’t a single nomination. But there isn’t any outcry over his snubs.
Where are the outcries for Annette Bening’s Oscar-less career. The Grifters? American Beauty? Being Julia? The Kids Are All Right? Nothing. And those are only her nominated performances. She’s been entertaining us for thirty years strong without due recognition. Then, to cap this all off, what about the great Max Von Sydow. Where’s the award for The Virgin Spring? Wild Strawberries? The Seventh Seal? Or Through a Glass Darkly? Let’s not forget The Exorcist. He’s been doing this since the 40s, but no one is outraged or arguing for his Oscar.
DiCaprio, by measure, has been in movies for almost a quarter of a century and he didn’t start giving consistently good performances until the turn of the century. What separates him from the legends mentioned? He’s got the looks. Isn’t it sad? There are campaigns from his fans to get him his Oscar but the Oldman’s and the Sydow’s of the world are forgotten…or even worse, unappreciated.
I’ve ranted before about the decline of artistic appreciation. It disturbes me when an actor’s looks gains him sympathy about the lack of deserved recognition rather than their talent. I please with AMPAS, give Donald Sutherland his nomination, let him know you know he’s there. Give Oldman his win. Give Glenn Close her much awaited win. We needn’t have a female Peter O’Toole.
Speaking of Mr. O’Toole. Where’s his Oscar? Zero for eight is an awful track record for someone who gave us Lawrence of Arabia, Becket and The Lion in Winter. Yet Leo DiCaprio gets all the crusades about his being without the gold. Where’s Leo’s Lawrence of Arabia? Or is he too sexy for one.
Think about that.