Some would say that this year’s Oscar Nominations proved to be somewhat questionable. I am referring to the several nominations that most would have considered a shoe-in, that ended up not getting nominated at all. Some of these upsets include a Best Director nomination for Ben Affleck, Argo, and Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty. There were also some questions about the Best Actor and Actresses categories, lacking an Actor in a Supporting Role nomination for Samuel L. Jackson in Django, an Actor in a Leading Role nomination for John Hawkes in The Sessions, and an Actress in a Leading Role nomination for Helen Mirren in Hitchcock. However, amongst the list of confusions which arose from this year’s nominations, one of the most shocking was the lack of an Actor in a Supporting Role nomination for Leonardo DiCaprio in his role of Calvin Candie in Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
Leo put on a stunning performance of the rich, plantation owner, slave driving, tyrant, Calvin Candie. If you can recall the scene when Candie cuts his hand, it is a fact that this injury and the smearing of his blood on his slave, Broomhilda’s face was not scripted at all. While shooting, DiCaprio actually cut his hand when he slammed it down on the table but he continued on with the scene, using this as a very interesting and shocking improv tool! It was truly a performance to be remembered. However, this is not the only memorable performance Leo has delivered that The Academy has failed to recognize.
DiCaprio has only been nominated for an Oscar three times throughout his diverse and extensive film career. These nominations include Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his parts in Blood Diamond, and The Aviator, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. This is a shockingly short list when you consider the amount of astonishing performances this actor has been praised for by seemingly everyone except the academy. He has received recognition for his roles in Inception, Shutter Island, The Departed, J. Edgar, The Titanic, Revolutionary Road, Catch Me if You Can, and The Beach – to name a few! For an actor who has successfully and skillfully portrayed the role of a mentally disabled child, in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, to a boy going into a drug enduced downward spiral in The Basketball Diaries, to J. Edgar Hoover, he has received very little, if any, praise from The Academy to commend him on these achievements. It would almost appear as if The Academy has some sort of vendetta against Leo, consistently failing to give him the nominations, let alone wins, that he deserves. Perhaps this one shocking non-nomination for Django was unfortunately not so shocking after all.