Leo Doesn’t Deserve the Oscar


Tanner Hudson, Staff Writer

After the Oscar-winning success of Alejandro Inaritu’s first film, Birdman, movie-goers everywhere were probably excited beyond their own comprehension to learn that Leonardo Dicaprio was confirmed as the lead of the recently released film, The Revenant. I admit, I was excited as well.

But then I saw the movie. Three times. I’ll tell that part of the story later, though.

Anyway, people are jumping to some pretty far-fetched conclusions about the, uh, need for Leo to win it this time around for his commitment to the role. Although I do wish we could pat him on the back for his heaving, crawling, spitting, and screaming, we need to face the facts; the Oscars is a competition of talent, not endurance, and frankly, his acting just wasn’t that good.

Before the filming process started, Inaritu told the cast and crew that the theme of the film was “survival” and “spiritual growth through pain,” as said in the “Brotherhood of Trappers” featurette.

Leo took this too far. Sure, it looked like he was in a lot of pain. But he took everything he felt to an extreme. With every emotion, he made a pain face. Every. Emotion. In the business, that’s called “Presentational Acting.” In other words, it is when an actor shows every emotion they’re feeling all of the time, which is not what real people do, therefore it is not real. Therefore it is bad.

We spend an hour and a half with this campy character, most of that being spent in silence. In acting, in the words of Alfred Hitchcock, “a good actor is someone who can do nothing well.”

Leo does not do this. There is no clear thought process, there is no real urgency, and on top of that, there is no clear character! How can you fail this badly, Leo?!

Here’s how:

  1. Hugh Glass is not his character type. He usually plays the smooth ladies-man who could slyly stab you in the back at any time. Hugh Glass is absolutely different than, if not the opposite of that.
  2. He focused too much on the theme of the piece and what Inaritu wanted to show his audience. Of course it was (or could have been) art, but it’s first and foremost a film.
  3. He kept trying to show off his ability to be an actor. Of course, he may have felt the pain and learned the lines, but if only he had put in some work to internalize the piece, we might have cared for the character more. Stop trying to act. Just be, Leo!

I deduced these from just three (long and painful) sit-throughs, without falling asleep, mind you, although I did come close multiple times (minus Tom Hardy’s scenes, of course).

Leo cannot do nothing well in The Revenant. The Oscar goes to Tom Hardy. Case closed.