Amidst applause, standing ovations and tears, Leonardo DiCaprio mounted stage to accept an award for “Best Actor in a Leading Role” for The Revenant after a wait of twenty two years. DiCaprio once said
“I am really moved by all the people on Internet demanding that I should win an Oscar but to be honest, I only do this job because I love it. Not to win prizes”.
We totally agree with you Leo but we feel that deserving people should be recognized for their work. And this sentiment was evident in the crowd as well. Eddie Redmayne who was also nominated in the same category for The Danish Girl said that he is just going to enjoy the night because he too wants to see Leonardo win.
Leonardo was first nominated in 1993 for “The Best Supporting Actor” for his work in Who’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Such was his talent that though the role given to him was a minor one, he did it with such dedication that it made critics to praise his performance seperately. Janet Maslin, a critic from The New York Times wrote,
“the film’s real show-stopping turn comes from Mr. DiCaprio, who makes Arnie’s many tics so startling and vivid that at first he is difficult to watch…. The performance has a sharp, desperate intensity from beginning to end.”
And when Leonardo DiCaprio came on stage to accept his first Oscars after a total of six nominations, all eyes were set on his acceptance speech. And no one was disappointed.
He began by praising and congratulating other nominees in the category for their ‘unbelievable performances’. He went to speak about the movie for which won this prestigious award, The Revenant. He said.
“The Revenant was the product of the tireless efforts of an unbelievable cast and crew I got to work alongside.” And indeed it was! In a conversation with ABC, he told that they have to rehearse for two weeks for the opening sequence alone.”
He went on to express his gratitude to his co-star Mr. Tom Hardy and the director Mr. Alejandro Innaritu who won the award for The Best Director consecutively for the second time, for whom Caprio said,
“…as the history of cinema unfolds, you have forged your way into history these past 2 years… thank you for creating a transcendent cinematic experience.”
It’s true that once you are recognized for your work, you try to bring together the time and the moments it took to reach that stage. The same happened with our Leo. He set out a chronology and mentioned people with whom he started his journey. From Michael Caton Jones who was the director of The Boy’s Life, the movie in which DiCaprio worked alongside Robert De Niro to Mr. Scorsese who have directed some landmark films such as Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, DiCaprio made a point not to miss anybody who needs to be mentioned:
“Thank you to everybody at Fox and New Regency…my entire team. I have to thank everyone from the very onset of my career…to Mr. Jones for casting me in my first film to Mr. Scorsese for teaching me so much about the cinematic art form. To my parents, none of this would be possible without you. And to my friends, I love you dearly, you know who you are.”
His long time friend and an amazing co-star Kate Winslet was seen in tears while Leonardo DiCaprio was giving his speech.
Leonardo DiCaprio has been trying to spread awareness about the environmental issues especially global warming and the effects it has on our species. He made his point at Oscars as well. Sharing his experience while working for The Revenant he said,
“Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world. A world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.”
He has expressed his concern over this issue a million times and has taken every opportunity to make people think about our planet. As he concluded, he said
“Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted. Thank you so very much.”
A lesson to be learned from Leonardo DiCaprio’s experience in his own words:
“Don’t tell me I can’t do it; don’t tell me it can’t be done”.
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