With Shutter Island out in theatres and many coming out of it polarized by its thematic and scorsesian reach- I wouldn't mind taking the time looking back on what you think are THE best performances of Dicaprio's career thus far. He's been in 4 Scorsese's and they all deserve high praise (although I'm excluding Shutter Island since I haven't seen it yet). I've decided to choose 3 performances that have highlighted what is so far an incredible career in Hollywood acting- the type that will only gain a better reputation as the years go along. what are your favourite Dicaprio's?
What's Eating Gilbert Grapes?
Playing a mentally challenged kid is not easy. & an all too young Dicaprio proved how effortless a talent can make it look, In Lasse Hallstrom's exquisite character piece.
Dicaprio nailed the Howard Hughes experience as Scorsese tackled far ranging issues such as high class society, corrupt government & Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
His best movie thus far is also one of his best performances thus far. Dicaprio nailed the role of an undercover agent sneaking into the Irish mob and their ringing leader played by Jack Nicholson.
I chimed in on Haneke's latest movie a month back and now it's finally getting a wider distribution. I'm not necessarily telling you to go see it -my REVIEW was mixed- but it is an interesting experience nevertheless, in that all along you expect something big to happen but it just doesn't. The Miami Herald's Rene Rodriguez called it an 'artsy bore' but I wouldn't go that far. It is a rather excrutiating movie to sit through at times and there are instances that make it seem as if you're watching paint dry but the overall curiosity in its themes and execution is somehwhat intriguing. I'd pass on it but if you're a Haneke fan try to come up with your own conclusion.
Watching a movie from the 80's is always a fun treat, mostly because I get to check out which have aged and which -like fine wine- have gotten drastically better in time. For this dreary decade in film, the 1980's represented the worst in cinema and not many truly timeless works of art. One can think of Robert Redford's Ordinary People which won the Oscar and New York Critics prizes in 1980, only to be seen as an untimely document today- with its soapy dialogue and hollywoodized vision. There's also the BIG epics of that decade such as Reds, Gandhi & -yikes- Chariots Of Fire- all of which have aged as well as a bottle of Bailey's liquor out in the heat.
All this bitching could make someone think that there was only bad to be had but then I think of Scorsese's impressive run, Woody Allen's prime, Spike Lee's best film, Oliver Stone at his political best and James L Brooks' solid melodrama's- But then there's Blade Runner. Where do I start? It has a huge following and for many represents the apex of what 1980's cinema was about. I clearly don't. Ridley Scott's epic Sci Fi drama has aged horribly. With its 80's costume and hair to its not so great dialogue. This darkly literate tale of Machine vs Man is good but definitely not great. In other words, it is just what critics thought it was at the time of its 1982 release- average. The director's cut a few years ago slightly helped by taking out the clumsy narration and adding an extra layer to its climax (is he a robot. isn't he?)
No doubt I'm gonna get a mouth full for these comments & I'm surely only backed up by a few. But what Blade Runner hypes up isn't necessarily substantial enough to warrant all the fuss decent folks have been clamoring about for close to 2 decades. Scott has made far better movies in his career. Watch Raging Bull. Do The Right Thing. Blue Velvet. As far as iconic, relentless & ageless cinematic masterworks of this particular decade.
If only there was something worth watching or something to look forward to. So far 2010 -the start of a new decade- has been limp with not a single good movie to brag about. Then again I expected it, especially after a busy November and December. Nothing good will come out at least until February 19th -that is unless you look forward to that new flick Valentine's Day- when Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island is set to embark nationwide.
A Scorsese picture is an event for any movie buff. I am an avid follower of his -like anybody else- and believe the advance buzz this one has been getting. I recently caught his take on Celebrity fame, 1983's King Of Comedy starring an incredible Robert Deniro and a deranged Sandra Bernahrd as celebrity stalkers and end of civilization like people. It's an overlooked gem in Scorseses' canon and definitely worth a look for all its twisted narrative turns and a self referential Jerry Lewis mocking himself & his celebrity.
It's culture shock for anybody to see Deniro and Bernhard talking Lewis and asking for a ransom (a spot on his show) but like anything Scorsese does this is still a relevant and scary funny look on our society and the twistedness -if that even is a word- of fame.
This is how you make a good poster. If anybodies seen the movie they will enjoy this simple but effective promo for the Oscar nominated movie. Talkin' about the nominations- they're good (with the exception of a few including that Sandra Bullock Vehicle). Having 10 nominees actually enhances the curiosity and opens up the number of deserving honorees. Remember Wall E and Dark Knight not getting their due last year? That might just be what might have made the Academy change their minds and decide to support more Nominees. One year too late you ask? Not necessarily. I'm happy about An Education and A Serious Man getting in ditto District 9 and Pixar's Up.
The acting nominations are also tremendously deserving (Bullock being the exception again). I'm pulling for Bridges to win his first Oscar as a down and out musician in Crazy Heart. Watch out for Clooney in what could be an upset. Actresses also have their own duel as Sandra Bullock will face against the very powerful Meryl Streep (for her role in Julie and Julia). Streep deserves it but something tells me Bullock will win it. The simple truth is that everybody likes Bullock and she has taken Julia Roberts' throne as America's Sweetheart. As far as maddening wins may come next month when the ceremony rolls in at L.A's Kodak Theatre, Bullock winning may just take the cake.
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