If there’s one thing that annoys me about the internet today, other than people, it’s memes. A few years ago when they first started appearing on my timeline I found them quite funny, they were a good laugh, but it seems as though this has grown in to people making memes out of literally anything. The one that’s still getting on my nerves today, despite the fact they started cropping up a while back, is the memes linked to Leonardo DiCaprio and his unlucky streak at the Academy Awards. Why is it such a big deal?
I remember scrolling through Twitter the day after the Oscars this year, and aside from seeing repeated retweets of the famous star-studded selfie, all I could see was memes of Leo posted by young teens who were disappointed that he didn’t win. It annoyed me for a number of reasons, firstly because all of the tweets were along the lines of “he deserved it this year!” when clearly the people tweeting weren’t old enough to have seen the film. Secondly if you look at the competition from this year there wasn’t a chance of him winning. In my opinion it was always going to be between Matthew McConaughey and Chiwitel Ejiofor, whose performances were absolutely phenomenal. Thirdly, and I cannot stress this enough, it doesn’t really matter.
People have become so fixated on this idea that winning an Oscar is so important for actors or films in general and it doesn’t really make sense. Personally I’m torn when it comes to awards such as the Oscars. On one hand I like them because it draws attention to an art form that I care about and is a way of recognising some true talent in this world. It’s nice seeing the attention shifted on to something I’m passionate about. On the other hand there is a heavy level of bias involved with the awards, and they usually focus on a select few films so some talents go unnoticed. With this in mind I don’t think it’s a bad thing that our beloved Leo hasn’t won an Oscar yet.
If you think about it, he really doesn’t need one. He has had a career doing the one thing he loves and he has brought joy to so many people of the years with his films, so winning an award is like an optional extra. He’s even said himself on numerous occasions that he doesn’t care about winning awards, he acts because he loves it. It was the same with Marlon Brando; he famously turned down his Oscars because he didn’t want them. He said he acted because it’s what he loved doing, he didn’t do it for the awards. That’s why DiCaprio doesn’t need the award, because we all know already how talented he is, the award would just be something extra.
If you have ever seen a film with DiCaprio in (that isn’t Titanic) then you know how talented he is. He proved to us from an early age that he was an astounding actor, from ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ right up to ‘Django Unchained’ his resume is near flawless. And as the years and the nominations have passed him by he’s got better and better at what he does without ever complaining about the awards, it’s everyone else that’s complaining on behalf of him. Admittedly you’d be pretty hacked off if you hadn’t won after a certain number of times, but he never seems bitter about it and I respect him for that.
Look at the rewards results from over the years and you’ll see that there are so many talented people that have been nominated numerous amounts of times and yet haven’t won awards:
– John Hurt: in my opinion one of the greatest actors of all time, nominated twice and yet hasn’t won yet.
– Amy Adams: I know she’s not everyone’s favourite but for me I think she’s proved on numerous occasions that she can adapt to any role put in front of her. Still, nominated five times without having won.
– Joaquin Phoenix: again, another fantastic actor who has proved his talents in so many different films, nominated three times.
– Julianne Moore: she’s a favourite of Paul Thomas Anderson and we can all see why, nominated four times.
– Peter O’Toole: arguably one of the best actors of all time who sadly passed away last year, managed to get eight nominations.
It’s clear that it doesn’t matter if you win an award or not, most people feel honoured to have even been nominated. That last one on the list, the legend that was Peter O’Toole, gave some of the best performances you will ever see and yet he didn’t win an Oscar, because he didn’t need to. He still proved to audiences all over the world that he was incredibly talented.
But it’s not just actors, of course not, over the years directors and writers have had their fair share of losing out:
– David Fincher: an exceptional director with a good eye for film, sadly nominated twice with no wins.
– Ridley Scott: a diverse and talented director who had made his mark on the film industry over the years, still sits with three nominations and no wins.
– Christopher Nolan: a genius walking among men, a living legend of cinema, nominated three times.
– David O. Russell: both a talented screenplay writer and director of the modern age, nominated five times.
– Alfred Hitchcock: one of the greatest minds of film that ever lived and the king of the thriller genre, technically he was awarded an Oscar but it’s an honourary award so it’s debatable to whether that counts. Still, five nominations and no wins.
– Wes Anderson: in my opinion one of the best writers of the modern age and one of the greatest film makers living today, still without an Oscar after three nominations.
– Paul Thomas Anderson: another talented director and writer who only has six feature films, still managed to gain himself five nominations over the years without a win.
I used to feel annoyed when thinking about all of those people who hadn’t won Oscars but deserved them, but as I’ve matured a bit and become less of an angry teen and become just a grumpy one I have to realise that awards really don’t matter. It’s a nice idea winning one and the concept behind the awards is sound, but it’s not what making films is about.
All of the actors, writers and directors listed above have been involved in making true works of art without ever having one an award. And yet they all keep making films, why? Because they love doing it. It’s refreshing to see people still want to make films in today’s world, regardless of awards or financial gain, they do it because it’s what they love. I have respect for every single one of the people listed above because they carry on doing what they do best without ever being bitter about losing, because really they’re not losers. It’s like Michael Caine said when he accepted his Oscar for supporting actor, he was happy the announcement changed from “and the winner is” to “the Oscar goes to” because it’s not about winners and losers, it’s about who represents a group of selected humans and celebrating their talents. So yes I do still uphold the view that Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t need an Oscar, because in my mind he’s already proved that he doesn’t need one.
As for Tim Burton being nominated but not winning, well the less said about that the better.quite frankly. Now there’s a loss that I won’t complain about.