Leo DiCaprio's Oscar woes

After going 0 for 4 in the Actor category we are all on pins and needles, hoping beyond hope that this is the year for Leo DiCaprio to take home the Oscar gold. Here is a look at the years he fell short, and the possible "why's". What is surprising is what he wasn't nominated for. That at times is more jaw dropping than the times he lost. 

1994. Granted this was the first nomination and it was for a best supporting role but still he went home empty handed. As Arnie Grape in What's Eating Gilbert Grape we got our first taste of Leo's dramatic chops. Most of us passed this off as a grand performance from a young, likable, not realizing it was the tip of the iceberg for what was to come. 

The nominees were: Tommy Lee Jones – The Fugitive, Leonardo DiCaprio – What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Ralph Fiennes – Schindler's List, John Malkovich – In the Line of Fire, Pete Postlethwaite – In the Name of the Father.

This was the year that PIANO and SCHINDLER'S LIST took most of the big prizes. So many thought that Fiennes would be a fine choice. But the Academy went with Tommy Lee Jones and Leo went home with a great memory. 

Eleven years past before DiCaprio was given a second Oscar nomination. Between 1994 and 2005 he certainly had a few opportunities to be included. 1997 was the year of TITANIC but Jack Dawson got the ice cold shoulder. Snub one. 2002 he even upped the ante and offered two worthy performances. Amsterdam Vallon in THE GANGS OF NEW YORK and Frank Abagnale Jr. in CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. But Oscar eluded him again without even an atta boy. Snub two and three.

2005. The Academy decided Leo wasn't going away and so they gave him a nomination for his role as Howard Hughes in THE AVIATOR. The nominees wereJamie Foxx – RayDon Cheadle – Hotel RwandaJohnny Depp – Finding Neverland, Leonardo DiCaprio – The Aviator, Clint Eastwood – Million Dollar Baby. Oscar decided blind was harder to play than crazy and so Jamie Foxx walked off with the statue. Leo again watched a fellow cast mate (Cate Blanchette) go away a winner. Pretty much everything else went to MILLION DOLLAR BABY. 

2007. This is one of the numerous head scratchers that The Academy has thrown out in its career. Agian Leo offers up two stand out performances.  The nominees wereForest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland, Leonardo DiCaprio – Blood Diamond, Ryan Gosling – Half Nelson, Peter O'Toole – VenusWill Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness. This is the same year as THE DEPARTED was nominated. Yet Leo is nominated for BLOOD DIAMOND and not THE DEPARTED; a role that would have given him a lot better chance in the supporting actor category. Whitaker went away the winner. While Alan Arkin took the supporting role for LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. Hind sight makes this so hard to swallow. 

This time SEVEN years pass by and Leo is snubbed for Revolutionary Road (Sean Penn won for MILK), Shutter Island and Inception (Colin Firth won for THE KINGS SPEECH), J. Edgar (Jean Dujardi won for THE ARTIST), Django Unchained (Daniel Day-Lewis won for LINCOLN). At least four of those five deserved at least a nomination. How insane. 

2014. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET wowed critics and Leo finally gets another nomination. The nominees were: Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club, Christian Bale – American Hustle, 
Bruce Dern – Nebraska, Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street, Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave. McConaughey lost a lot of weight but won the Oscar. The only person that should have been more upset is Ejiofor. How he lost I will never know. 

2016. Back to back performance nominations gets Leo back in the running with THE REVENANT. The nominees are: Bryan Cranston – Trumbo, Matt Damon – The Martian, Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant, Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs, Eddie Redmayne – The Danish GirlThis has to be Leo's year. Every critic has said so as well as every other awards group. If he walks away empty handed this year I am not sure the industry will continue to take stock any longer in the longest running most prestigious award.

I guess we will all find out on Sunday February 28th. 


The Abandoned - Interviews

1h 26min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

**Now playing in select theaters**

SynopsisTake a terrifying plunge into the warped mind of a disturbed young woman. Desperate to get her life back on track, the unstable Streak (Louisa Krause) takes a job as a security guard, working the graveyard shift at a once upscale, now abandoned apartment complex. But on her first night on duty, she discovers a horrifying presence lurking deep within the bowels of the decaying building. With her nerves already on edge, Streak must confront demons both real and imagined as she struggles to keep a grip on her sanity.

Feature: The Abandoned is a stellar first full-length feature film from Director Eytan Rockaway. Twisty, engaging, and haunting. But it is far more than a haunted house story. Listen to my complete interview with Rockaway as he explains the difference. 

Louisa Krause plays the main character, Streak. Krause's passion and zeal exuded in everyday life bled into her character. As you listen to my interview with Louisa it is hard not to catch some of that excitement. 


Deadpool - Review

R  |  108 min  |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Review - Matt Mungle

**In theaters February 12th 2016**

SynopsisA former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopting the alter ego Deadpool.

Review: DEADPOOL is one of the purist and most beautiful love stories to ever grace a cinema screen. In a sea of flotsam, self absorbed, and egocentric Super Heroes Wade Wilson is a beacon of light guiding us home. Thank you, Mr. Deadpool for saving our holiday and possibly even our lackadaisical lives.

Wade (Ryan Reynolds) has served selflessly as a military mercenary always putting others ahead of his own comfort and fortune.  The one thing that has forever eluded him is that special someone to gently hold at the end of a long day. Then he meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and with her he finds a reason to do many things; to her and for her. Their love is unbridled and unmatched. 

But as if scripted by the demi-gods of Nicholas Sparks a tragedy befalls them which threatens their blissful existence. Wade puts his trust in the wrong people, mainly one liar named Ajax (Ed Skrein) who promises healing. Even that goes terribly wrong and Wade must now hide behind a mask in order to walk among the beautiful people. Deadpool is born and this sets in motion a chain of events that will break your heart and leave you chanting, "Let love win", from the theater aisle. 

DEADPOOL is hands down one of the best super hero films to ever crawl from the pages of Marvel Comics. Never before has one been so relatable and of the people. Instead of sitting in a lofty penthouse making billions of dollars this is a guy you can sit at the bar and have a drink with. You can tell him all your troubles and he will not only listen but offer you words of honest encouragement -sprinkled with a tad a sarcasm- that will lift your spirits and tickle your funny bone. You will leave feeling so good about yourself that you forget all the troubles you thought were so unmanageable.

Wade is not just a man of words though but of extreme action when it is called for. Especially when it comes to taking care of his lady. Think King Leonidas from 300 meets Michael Bolton singing that one cover song. It is that powerful. So when Vanessa's life is in danger he pulls out all the stops, and a few other things, and takes on some mutated a-holes in a bloodbath of vengeance.

If you thought you were over and done with the super hero comic movie genre Deadpool will cause you to rethink that decision.  It makes fun of everything that the industry holds dear. In doing so it strips away all the armor and allows you to laugh at the most inappropriate dialogue. Seriously, there is very little in this movie that is appropriate. We should all be ashamed to say we applaud it. But isn't that what true love is? I think so.

DEADPOOL is rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity. Do not see this with anyone you would not be willing to burp or pass gas in front of; while completely naked. It is very adult but you have to put aside your adult mentality to love it soooo much. Will Ryan Reynolds finally win an Oscar? No, but neither has Iron Man Jr., Captain Evans, or that web swinger. And I can tell you now who you will like better.  I give it 5 out of 5 taxi cab rides. The smaller your hands are the bigger this film will feel.