Leonardo DiCaprio Wins Oscar for Wrong Movie, Joins Impressive Club

It finally happened: 25 years after making his feature film debut in the horror sequel Critters 3, Leonardo DiCaprio has his Oscar. And although we are incredibly happy for Leonardo DiCaprio, who is undoubtedly one of the finest actors of his generation (and who steadfastly refuses to star in generic Hollywood crap), we can’t help but feel bad that the Academy finally saw fit to honor him for one of his lesser performances.

The Revenant stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, a trapper left for dead on the frontier, who crawls for miles through ice (after a bear attack no less) to get his revenge for the death of his son. It’s a gorgeously filmed but simplistic motion picture, one that seems desperate to elevate a by-the-numbers revenge saga into something deeply meaningful. It doesn’t quite succeed. Leonardo DiCaprio spends most of The Revenant in torment, a visceral emotion but not a terribly nuanced one, and the sort of thing that we’ve long since learned that DiCaprio could have done in his sleep.

Also: 10 Oscar Snubs We Should All Stop Whining About

It sure seems like the Academy just gave DiCaprio an Oscar this year because they failed to honor him for many years now, and for many roles that are even more impressive and interesting than his performance in The Revenant. If that sounds cynical, it’s not. It’s standard operating procedure. The Oscars have been making up for past mistakes since damn near the start of the ceremony. We looked back at the history of the Oscars, and we didn’t even have to look back very far to find eight actors who won Academy Awards for films that obviously weren’t their best, and which seem now to be a sort of apology for an unforgivable earlier snub.

Again, we congratulate you, Leonardo DiCaprio. You gave a perfectly respectable performance in The Revenant, but you were sublime in at least one other Oscar-nominated performance.

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Top Photo: 20th Century Fox

William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.