With your voices and your ticket stubs, you’ve made it clear that at this moment - in this awards season - there is a call for Leonardo DiCaprio to win his first Oscar.
For over 20 years, DiCaprio has given us outstanding performance after outstanding performance, but has only received five Academy Award nominations - and most shockingly of all, no wins. We at Picturehouse at FACT believe that when an actor gives so much to his performances (and producing roles) but receives nowhere near enough recognition, changes need to be made at the academy.
Cinemagoers, actors and film producers who are tired of the division and distraction that has clouded the academy’s decisions year after year must join together and agree that Leonardo DiCaprio’s latest performance in The Revenant (coming to FACT from 14 January) is more than worthy of a Best Actor award.
The Revenant is the story of real-life fur trapper, Hugh Glass who is attacked by a bear, robbed by his companions, and left for dead. By grit and will alone he survives and is out for vengeance.
That’s right, Leonardo DiCaprio fought a bear for this Oscar.*
Many of the crew for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s new film have told reporters that production descended into “a living hell”. Working in the -25C conditions of the Canadian wilderness caused equipment to break and many of the crew to quit. Not our Leo though.
DiCaprio bore the cold, set his broken leg in rotting wood, had maggots eat out the gangrene, dragged himself 200 miles and fell of a cliff for this Oscar.
Leo’s performance as Hugh Glass has been more well received than any of his roles to date, with Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian meriting it with five shining stars and praising the supporting cast of Tom Hardy, Will Poulter and Domnahall Gleeson. With a film as strong as this one, it is time that we act and ensure that Leonardo DiCaprio finally be rewarded for his achievements.
Though Leo has fought tooth and nail, it may not be enough to win the Oscar he deserves; he still faces stiff competition from last year’s Oscar rival Michael Keaton, and last year’s winner, Eddie Redmayne. Keaton’s staggering performance in Spotlight (showing at FACT from 29 January) is gripping, and Redmayne is receiving glowing reviews for his transformative role in The Danish Girl (now showing). In other words, Leo is going to need our help in swaying any academy member sitting on the fence.
We can be the new majority that leads Leo out of a long awardless darkness and into the annuls of Oscar history. Too long have we stood by waiting for Billy Crystal, Chris Rock or Jon Stewart to read out those much longed-for words “and the winner is… Leonardo DiCaprio.” We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.
We have started our own E-Petition and hashtag, which we’d like you to sign and use, so that we can help the academy in making their tricky decision this year.
We have been asked to pause for a reality check more than once and we’ve been told we have no power to influence the academy by a chorus of much better informed cynics who are more than probably right, but if Leo wins, and let’s face it he’ll win (with our help he has to, right?), we’ll have a Leonardo DiCaprio party in our bar.
So before the 88th Academy Awards arrives on 28 February, remember that Leonardo Wilhelm "The Nard Dog" DiCaprio fought a bear for this Oscar.* Now let's fight for him.
*To be clear, the bear was CGI, no animals were harmed in the making of The Revenant. Though you have to admit once you've seen the film, it's brutal.
Book your tickets for The Revenant now.