Aaaaand we’re back with more Blogiversary Bash epicness! Today’s too-cool-for-school guest blogger? None other than Adam from Consumed by Film! Have you guys been to Adam’s site? If not, go there! Adam reviews films like a pro, and he’s got lots of great stuff to look through, so definitely check things out. Any ol’ who, Adam is here to talk about his favorite roles from a very talented actor. Let’s see who he chose to talk about, shall we?
Top Five Leonardo DiCaprio Films
Since we’re celebrating Cara’s first blogiversary I thought I’d make a celebratory cake. Sadly, it turned out much worse than the one Hagrid made for Harry all those years ago. Here, then, is something almost as good: My favourite films starring my favourite actor. Thanks for letting me participate Cara!
When creating a list of this ilk, one key question frequently arises: Is it about the quality of film or the quality of performance? Are these my top five Leonardo DiCaprio movies or my top five movies starring Leonardo DiCaprio? A bit of both, in truth. The following are my personal favourite flicks starring that guy from Titanic, and he’s pretty darn great in each of ‘em.
5) The Aviator (2004)
DiCaprio stars as iconic filmmaker and, shockingly, astute aviator Howard Hughes in an early life biopic. The star delivers a powerhouse performance that endures and then supersedes Martin Scorsese’s overly long piece. Clocking in at just under three hours, The Aviator adheres to a tantalisingly embroidered dress code that shimmers in tandem with Robert Richardson’s wonderful cinematography. DiCaprio, though, steals the show and flies away it; from a man driven by bouncing enthusiasm to one taken hostage by mental instability, you’d be forgiven upon mistaking the California kid for Mr. Hughes.
4) The Beach (2000)
Four years prior to gallivanting across the globe in his plane (wait, sorry, got the two mixed up again) DiCaprio came to find himself enraptured by a beach. Through The Beach, Danny Boyle offers us a glimpse into an idyllist lifestyle before pulling the rug from under our sandy feet. DiCaprio is American college student Richard who is on a quest of discovery. The actor strikes up an amiable dynamic with since forgotten co-star Virginie Ledoyen in a film etched with displaced tension from the get-go. And who could forget All Saints’ now nostalgic synthpop hit, Pure Shores? I’ve crossed the desert for miles…
3) Shutter Island (2010)
When it comes to tension though, Shutter Island claims first prize. Again teaming with Scorsese, DiCaprio tries his hand at Teddy Daniels, a US marshal tasked with locating a disappeared patient. The film received generally favourable reviews upon release, but it’s even better than that. Armed with a whole host of deliciously off-kilter performances – Mark Ruffalo is your best friend whereas Ben Kingsley is your murky neighbour – Shutter Island moodily drums forth with poise and certainty before unmasking its true identity. It’s hard to place DiCaprio’s Teddy Daniels in this, but the actor masterfully commands our sympathy in a portrayal that is almost as hardy as it is vulnerable.
2) Inception (2010)
Christopher Nolan redefined the summer popcorn blockbuster with Inception, a film that thrives on intelligence and a refreshing relationship with its audience. DiCaprio is Cobb, a talented dream extractor who must gather a team in order to carry out a job with life-realigning rewards. For a moment, forget the exquisite cast. Forget Hans Zimmer’s grandiose score. Forget Wally Pfister’s earth-shattering camera work. Forget Nolan’s astutely layered narrative. No, scrap that. Relive it all, because Inception ought to be paraded with aplomb. It’s that good. And so is DiCaprio in arguably his most emotionally conflicted role to date.
1) Blood Diamond (2006)
As far as political war thrillers infused with a splash of drama and a coating of historical tutelage go, Blood Diamond is one of the best. DiCaprio plays Danny Archer, a smuggler who teams with a father in search of his son. Reaching out through the outing’s harsh brutality is a rather touching camaraderie between its two leads. Yet there’s something inherently haunting about Edward Zwick’s film, that is, aside from the obviously harrowing depiction of child soldiers. Perhaps it’s the contrast between the beautifully exotic African landscape and the horrors that play out atop. We shouldn’t like Danny Archer; he exploits those close to him and uses animals to illegally charter diamonds across the border for his own financial benefit. But DiCaprio injects Archer with discrete humility, with a common truthfulness. And the accent is spot on.
“Sometimes I Wonder, will God ever forgive us for what we’ve done to each other? Then I look around and I realise. God left this place a long time ago.”
Honourable mentions? Well, I don’t really think DiCaprio’s made a bad film. Yeah, J. Edgar is a bit of a chore, but the bonafide movie star is pretty great in the titular role. The Departed is unlucky to miss out, as is his dastardly turn as Calvin Candie in Django Unchained. And a quick shout out to Catch Me If You Can, a film that bares a delightful two-hour-plus joust between Leo and Tom Hanks.
What are your favourite Leonardo DiCaprio films? That is, assuming you’re all on speaking terms with him.
Hmmm if I had to pick my favorite DiCaprio…I’d probably have to go with Cobb, as I am obsessed with Inception. Ooh! Or as Arnie in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape because he’s freaking fantastic in it. Thanks so much, Adam! Very fun idea, my friend. Oh, and thank for trying out the cake–even if it turned out all sad and Hagrid-y. 😉 More to come, ladies and germs!