Leonardo DiCaprio Tribute
Today is Leonardo DiCaprio’s birthday, the brilliant actor turns 41. Perhaps one of, if not, the most popular actor in the twenty-first-century due to his exceptional performances and commercially successful films, as well as the continued absence of an Academy Award on his shelf.
This is a list of 10 films (and short summaries) that are my favourite DiCaprio films that I have seen. There a few films that I have yet to see but I am planning to, they include What’s Earting Gilbert Grape?, The Beach, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Revolutionary Road and J. Edgar (Currently have this on LoveFilm). I know, criminal is it not?! I will get round to them soon, especially The Aviator and Gangs of New York.
Romeo + Juliet
IMDb Rating: 6.8
My Rating: 7.0
Baz Luhrmann adapted the classic Shakespearean romantic tragedy for the screen, updating the setting to a post-modern city named Verona Beach with the Capulets and Montagues as two rival gangs. Fulgencio Capulet has arranged Juliet’s (Claire Danes) marriage to Paris (Paul Rudd) as part of a strategic investment plan. Juliet is attending a costume ball thrown by her parents, Romeo (DiCaprio) also attends and he and Juliet fall in love. The very first DiCaprio film I ever watched, my brother was doing Romeo and Juliet at school and my Mum bought the VHS tape of Romeo + Juliet and I ended up watching it. I haven’t seen it since… It was nice though… I think!
IMDb Rating: 7.7
My Rating: 7.5
James Cameron’s Titanic is an epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic; at the time, the largest moving object ever built. The “ship of dreams”, which ultimately carried over 1,500 people to their death in the ice cold waters of the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912. There is not much I need to add to any review of the Titanic, I gave it 7.5 purely because it has been an age since I last watched it (I might have given it a different rating if I had watched it recently). One of the biggest films of all time with countless memorable moments.
Catch Me If You Can
IMDb Rating: 8.0
My Rating: 8.8
Frank Abagnale, Jr. (DiCaprio) worked as a doctor, a lawyer, and as a co-pilot for a major airline, all before his 18th birthday. A master of deception and a brilliant forger, whose skill seen him become the most successful bank robber in the history of the U.S. FBI Agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) makes it his prime mission to capture Frank and bring him to justice, but Frank is always one step ahead of him. One of my favourite all time films. Abagnale, Jr. is a man who has lived an extraordinary life and has done it all by evading the law and the FBI agents pursuing him. The best cat and mouse story in film. An absolute must-watch!
IMDb Rating: 8.5
My Rating: 8.3
South Boston cop Billy Costigan (DiCaprio) goes under cover to infiltrate the organisation of gangland chief Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). As Billy gains the mobster’s trust, a career criminal named Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) infiltrates the police department and reports on its activities to his syndicate bosses. When both organisations learn they have a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin must figure out each other’s identities to save their own lives. DiCaprio and Damon were both on point in their respective roles as the moles in the mob and police organisations. A film that will keep your eyes glued to the screen for every last second.
IMDb Rating: 8.0
My Rating: 9.2
As civil war rages through 1990s Sierra Leone, two men, a white South African mercenary (DiCaprio) and a black Mende fisherman (Djimon Hounsou), become joined in a common quest to recover a rare gem that has the power to transform their lives. With the help of an American journalist (Jennifer Connelly), the men embark on a hazardous trek through rebel territory to achieve their goal. The one film that I think he probably could have won the Oscar for Best Actor. He and Djimon Hounsou were both brilliant in their respective roles, and this is the performance that DiCaprio will be remembered by me for.
IMDb Rating: 8.1
My Rating: 8.7
The implausible escape of a brilliant murderess brings U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and his new partner (Mark Ruffalo) to a fortress-like insane asylum located on a remote island. The woman appears to have vanished from a locked room, and there are hints of terrible deeds committed within the hospital walls. As the investigation deepens, Teddy realizes he will have to confront his own dark fears if he hopes to make it off the island alive. This is an enthralling film from the first moment until the very last, twists and turns abundant and another fantastic performance which had me on the edge of my seat throughout.
IMDb Rating: 8.8
My Rating: 9.1
Dom Cobb (DiCaprio) is a thief with the rare ability to enter people’s dreams and steal their secrets from their subconscious. His skill has made him a hot commodity in the world of corporate espionage but has also cost him everything he loves. Cobb gets a chance at redemption when he is offered a seemingly impossible task: Plant an idea in someone’s mind. If he succeeds, it will be the perfect crime, but a dangerous enemy anticipates Cobb’s every move. One of my favourite ever films ever since watching it on the big screen at the cinema. Excellent acting performances from all, an innovative storyline and visual effects that left me awestruck. Incredibly well put together film.
IMDb Rating: 8.5
My Rating: 8.5
Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, finds himself accompanying an unorthodox German bounty hunter named Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) on a mission to capture the vicious Brittle brothers. Their mission successful, Schultz frees Django, and together they hunt the South’s most-wanted criminals. Their travels take them to the infamous plantation of shady Calvin Candie (DiCaprio), where Django’s long-lost wife (Kerry Washington) is still a slave. The 4 main characters below all deliver 10/10 performances in this slick and stylish spaghetti Western. A gripping film that scooped accolades at the Oscars, BAFTAs and Golden Globes.
The Great Gatsby
IMDb Rating: 7.3
My Rating: 7.0
Midwest native Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) arrives in 1922 New York in search of the American dream. Nick, a would-be writer, moves in next-door to millionaire Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio) and across the bay from his cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her philandering husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton). Thus, Nick becomes drawn into the captivating world of the wealthy and — as he bears witness to their illusions and deceits — pens a tale of impossible love, dreams, and tragedy. To be honest I expected more from this film, and though at times Gatsby’s parties were captivating, the storyline did not have the same desired effect.
The Wolf of Wall Street
IMDb Rating: 8.2
My Rating: 9.0
Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) founds his own firm, Stratton Oakmont, together with his trusted lieutenant (Jonah Hill) and a merry band of brokers, Belfort makes a huge fortune by defrauding wealthy investors out of millions. However, while Belfort and his cronies partake in a hedonistic brew of sex, drugs and thrills, the SEC and the FBI close in on his empire of excess. Another fantastic performance from DiCaprio which saw him receive nominations for Best Actor once again. The storyline is astonishing and DiCaprio is the perfect person for the role, he is superb as the drug-taking, money-making and philandering Belfort who lives, it is fair to say, a life that has seen it all. An addictive film that I watch and re-watch over and over again.
Won 2 Golden Globes, 1 for The Aviator for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama and 1 for Best Actor for Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. He has won 34 awards and had an astonishing 134 nominations. Most notably failing to win a Best Actor Oscar, he was nominated for his roles in The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Here is a link to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation that have raised enormous amounts of money for various environmental and endangered species efforts. He recently raised $40m at his latest gala
Upcoming Work | The Revenant |
Fun Facts and Videos
Finally, to finish, some fun facts that I have found about him. My personal favourites are numbers 6 and 7.
1 : He is named after the artist Leonardo da Vinci as his pregnant mother was standing in front of a da Vinci painting at Uffizzi Gallery in Florence the first time she felt him kick.
2 : For his role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grapes, he spent some time at a home for mentally retarded teens to help him portray his character more effectively.
3 : He declined the role of Colonel Landa in Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, but declined. Christoph Waltz won a Oscar for his portrayal.
4 : He was part of a group that called themselves the Pussy Posse, the entourage included Tobey Maguire, David Blaine, Lukas Haas and Harmony Korine.
5 : DiCaprio was once fired as a 5-year-old on the set of children’s TV show Romper Room for being too disruptive.
6 : DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire once made a film that they thought was so bad that they took legal action for it not to be released in the US. The film is called Don’s Plum.
7 : He and Kate Winslet helped pay the nursing fees for the last surviving Titanic survivor so she wouldn’t have to sell her mementos.
To finish, here is he in Jonah Hill’s Saturday Night Live Monologue, which is very funny indeed. Give it a look, the ending is priceless!