Leonardo DiCaprio Wins Best Actor Oscar For ‘The Revenant’Erin Whitney |
IT FINALLY HAPPENED.
Leonardo DiCaprio has won his very first Academy Award. Whether you were rooting for or against The Revenant, whether you think he deserved the award for his grunting and groaning as Hugh Glass or just wanted him to win a damn Oscar already, it doesn’t matter. He’s officially in the Oscar club now.
After five nominations over 22 years, the “give poor Leo his Oscar” charade as become one of the biggest running Oscar jokes, a moment we’ve long waited for. With the memes, gifs and thinkpieces, we as a culture have assumed the role of Leo’s awards campaigners, a mob of angry moviegoers grown impatient with the Academy’s injustice. Now that the voters have finally acknowledged what we’ve been insisting all along, the award not only feels like a recognition of DiCaprio’s performance as the fur trapper, but one for all his past roles. So the question is, why did it take The Revenant to make it happen?
The Alejandro Iñarritu film no doubt has all the qualities of challenging epic drama. It had the controversy, the brutal violence, a story of overcoming the impossible, and it also left DiCaprio’s resume lined with daring feats – raw bison liver! animal carcasses! It’s the perfect film to showcase how far an actor, and a crew, will go, and one that isn’t modest about those accomplishments, making it stand out from the usual Oscar fare of poignant, transformative dramas. The Revenant in many ways is the manifestation of DiCaprio cashing in all his chips to show what he’s capable of. That no doubt grasped the Academy’s attention and reminded them that he’s an actor long overdue for his gold statue. Whether or not Hugh Glass should’ve been the role that actually got DiCaprio up on that stage is a debate for another time and place.
The audience gave DiCaprio a standing ovation on his way up to the podium. After thanking the cast, his family and agent for casting him in his first movie, DiCapario dedicated the end of his speech to drawing attention to climate change. “Making the revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world,” he said. “Let us not take this planet for granted.”
On top of DiCaprio’s win, The Revenant also won the Oscars for Best Cinematography and Best Director.
Last year, the Best Actor Oscar went to Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything.
Check out the full list of 2016 Oscar winners here.