Conventional wisdom says Hollywood doesn’t have as many true movie stars as it used to, with the brightest stars’ wattage trending down ever since the days of Humphrey Bogart. Even in the 21st century, however, when devastatingly-good looks and charisma meet in one earthy vessel who makes good career choices, tickets get bought. A lot of tickets. These ten beautiful people’s films have generated over two billion apiece at the box office.
Despite being one of Hollywood’s biggest stars for nearly two decades, there is one career milestone that continues to elude Leonardo DiCaprio: an Academy Award. First nominated for an Oscar as a teenager, DiCaprio has struck out all four times he’s been up for the coveted trophy, making him perhaps the most conspicuously snubbed actor of his generation. Movies like “Revolutionary Road” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” showcase just a few examples of his work that failed to bring home the gold—or, in many cases, even earn him an Oscar nomination.
More often than not, the most memorable movies we see are rooted in heavy, hard-to-watch subject matter. This can certainly be said of the gritty films on this list—all wartime pics set in Africa, all dealing with the real-life conflicts that have ravaged the beautiful continent over the last century.
What’s your favorite Leo role of all time? Maybe the vengeful Amsterdam Vallon in Gangs of New York, or the tough-as-nails U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels in Shutter Island? Wait. He was also amazing as the undercover cop in The Departed and Howard Hughes in The Aviator. Actually, his portrayal of stock-broker Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street was epic as well. What do these modern classics have in common? DiCaprio and Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese! That’s what! So here’s a challenge for you: Pick your favorite Leo movie NOT directed by Scorsese.
Why don’t most directors want to work with Leonardo DiCaprio more than once?
You can count on two fingers the number of times DiCaprio has collaborated with a filmmaker on multiple films: Martin Scorsese (on numerous projects) and Baz Luhrmann. On the flip side, you’d need an abacus to tally the number of high-profile directors who hired DiCaprio once and never went back for seconds. James Cameron (TITANIC), Woody Allen (CELEBRITY), Steven Spielberg (CATCH ME IF YOU CAN), and Danny Boyle (THE BEACH) are just a few names that come to mind. Boyle’s one-off feature with DiCaprio premieres Saturday, November 3, on Sundance Channel, and was the film that got us contemplating this topic.
TITANIC is not just a movie—it’s a phenomenon, an event, and a colossus—but it could have easily swerved in another direction. I vividly remember the period right before James Cameron’s wildly expensive 1997 epic about the legendary luxury liner tragedy came to shore. Amidst all the hype and speculation, a lot of pundits were predicting a whole other type of disaster than the one the film documented: A bomb!
Xavier Dolan, Niels Schneider and Monia Chokri in HEARTBEATS.
This week Sundance celebrates hot, young boys in love, starting tonight with a young Leonardo DiCaprio in TOTAL ECLIPSE. Leo plays 19th-century bad boy teen poet, Arthur Rimbaud (think lots of blousy shirts and sultry looks), who sends some of his poems to the famous writer, Paul Verlaine (played by David Thewlis, who won Best Actor at Cannes for the role in 1995). Verlaine is so impressed he invites Rimbaud to come stay at his house, but when he arrives he’s shocked to discover that Rimbaud is a crude and obnoxious sixteen-year-old kid. Still, he falls in love with him (in reality, Rimabud was nowhere near as cute as Leo, but hey, love is blind and Verlaine was no looker either), but it’s not a great match. Things don’t usually go well when you abandon your wife and kid for a hot teenage poet, whom you become so possessive of that you shoot him in a jealous rage. Luckily, Verlaine only hit Rimbaud’s left wrist, and he was a righty anyway. Hindsight’s a bitch, eh Paul?…
Who said you can’t have dessert first? Start your holiday indulgence early with this week’s episode of Love Lust, Chocolate edition. Then get ready for the season premiere of Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys with a jam-packed week of your favorite episodes from season one. And if you just can’t get enough, check out all the sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes looks at season two in Nashville, including a full episode available to watch with your friends online.
On Thursday night, EYES WIDE SHUT sets the mood when Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman get creepy sexy. Then Sundance takes things a bit further and celebrates vampire sex appeal on Friday night with Love Lust & Vampires, followed by the original vampire killing hottie, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (with Luke Perry, remember him? That kid was gonna be a star! Lesser known fact: Donald Sutherland and Paul Reubens also make appearances.) Speaking of which, if they ever get around to making that once talked about BUFFY reboot, Buffy original Kristy Swanson says she’s up for the job, any job, actually…
The season of grossout comedies and screechy animated romps is spewing to an end as we brace ourselves for the period when actual quality films might come out of the darkness. And these films know they’re quality.
In fact, the releases from now till December 31 have been aggressively devised to win Oscars and will be prestigiously rammed down our throats until someone votes for them!
The top choices:
* Ages ago, George Clooney went from TV star to Oscar bait, and his new one will hardly stop his pedigree parade from marching on. It’s The Ides of March, directed by Clooney (who costars with Ryan Gosling), and seeing as it examines dirty politics from the inside, it couldn’t be any more tawdrily topical. Opens October 7
* Leonardo DiCaprio gets a star role—and hopefully some nice gowns—as FBI head J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar. It doesn’t take an investigator to smell Oscar potential here. October 21
With THE DARK KNIGHT, Christopher Nolan established himself as a director with the ability to translate the artfulness of a film like MEMENTO into a blockbuster that packs equal parts action and story. Even with an ensemble case, THE DARK KNIGHT manages to retain a singular character study that remains the heart of the story, no matter how many explosions go off in the background.
Almost the opposite is true of INCEPTION, Nolan’s ‘break’ while finishing up the Batman trilogy.
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio
When will I learn? Every year I go to LA for the Oscars saying, “I’m not gonna go too crazy…” Right. Because of Mushie (Musharraf) I didn’t get to go to Nicolas Berggruen’s party at the Chateau Marmont – which is a shame. It sounded hilarious. Gerard Butler was there hitting on anything that was an actual woman that moved (what’s new?) while the women only wanted Leonardo DiCaprio. That shit always makes me laugh. It’s like 3 am at a frat party with two targets. And at this point, Gerard Butler is so gross, only the sluttiest of women are into him. It’s been YEARS since 300 and let’s be honest – those years ain’t been good to him (ed. note: Man Boobs!) And Leo? I don’t get it.
Robert DeNiro landed his first big role in Martin Scorcese’s MEAN STREETS in 1973. It was the first film they worked on together and the beginning of a long and profitable relationship. Over the next 22 years the two made 8 films together including TAXI DRIVER, RAGING BULL, GOODFELLAS and CASINO. Now it seems that Scorcese is going down that road of director/actor kinship once again, this time with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Film’s like Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Leonardo DiCaprio’s “11th Hour” are very important projects. They draw an entertainment industry focus around the idea that people can and should motivate themselves into saving the environment. When it comes to the production of films, why not make carbon neutral film sets and recycle the goods…
The 11th Hour is a wonderful documentary that reverently gives a nod to “An Inconvenient Truth” while moving one step past to posit specific ways for people’s actions to positively affect the environment. Leonardo DiCaprio has cared about environmental protection for most of his life, and he chose to make a documentary about climate change…