Leonardo DiCaprio Won The Oscar For The Wrong Movie

By TeeJay Small | Updated

Leonardo Dicaprio

If you’re reading this, you are likely already aware of the long-running gag regarding Leonardo DiCaprio’s constant snubs at the Oscar Awards over the years. The A-list leading man was consistently passed over for Best Actor for more than a decade, despite appearing in a wide array of massively successful and intensely dramatic roles. Leo ultimately beat this curse in 2016, when he took home Best Actor for his role in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant, despite the fact that it was not even close to DiCaprio’s best performance.

The Revenant

leonardo dicaprio

Don’t get me wrong, I like The Revenant just as much as the next guy, but personally, I can name about a dozen Leonardo DiCaprio movies that are more deserving of the Best Actor praise than this one.

For starters, The Revenant failed to leave a lasting cultural impact on the world of cinema at large. Now, as we near 10 years from the film’s initial release, all that most people can recall from the celebrated movie is Tom Hardy’s unintelligible mumbling and the scene where DiCaprio is gored by a bear in great detail.

He’s Known For Much Better Performances

Other Leonardo DiCaprio films have become cultural staples, which permeate throughout pop culture for decades to come, in the form of memes, GIFs, and a cultural osmosis that absorbs the plot of these movies directly into the hearts and minds of film fans all over the world. Ask a stranger on the street about The Revenant and there’s a solid chance that they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about.

But elderly grandparents and school-aged children alike are capable of recognizing Django Unchained, The Wolf of Wall Street, or Titanic, by little more than their titles alone.

The King Of The World


In fact, if you take a glance at Leonardo DiCaprio’s IMDb page, The Revenant isn’t even listed among the top four films in the “known for” section. That section is reserved for Titanic and The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as Inception and The Departed. Each of these movies are entirely bolstered by DiCaprio’s unflinching commitment to his role, and defined by the massive impact that he had on audiences around the globe.

The Revenant Is Still A Great Film

Again, I’m not hating on The Revenant at all, it’s a great film, it’s just not in the top 10 of best Leonardo DiCaprio performances. One of the big reasons Leo won for this film in particular was the authenticity of the shoot, which saw the thespian crawling through real snow in a frozen tundra, undergoing intense physical conditions, and chomping into raw bison liver to embody the spirit of his character.

I don’t want to undermine DiCaprio’s commitment, but I’m just saying–I too could pull off an Oscar-worthy “disgusted” face if I took a bite out of an actual raw bison liver.

He Deserves More

All of this is without even mentioning the other elephant in the room, which is that Leonardo DiCaprio hasn’t won another Best Actor Oscar since 2016! This means that the Academy considers The Revenant to tout a better DiCaprio performance than Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Don’t Look Up, and Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon.

While I personally find this absurd, I’m at least glad that Leonardo DiCaprio was acknowledged by the Academy after over 25 years of excellent performances. As we all know, the acclaimed actor has a hard time focussing on things once they age past 25.