Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Will Leonardo DiCaprio’s Carefully Orchestrated “I’m Overdue” Oscar Campaign Bear Fruit Tonight?


Twenty three years. Six nominations. Will Leonardo DiCaprio’s carefully orchestrated campaign to win an Oscar bear fruit tonight?

Lucky for Leo, competition tonight is light. There’s no Daniel Day Lewis. No surprise film like “The Artist.” No Brit with cred and a hit like Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech.”

Also, in “The Revenant” Leo says about as little as he does in interviews. He may have finally found the role that reflects his P.R.

Last night at a party in the Giorgio Armani boutique, Leo banned press and cameras, or any interviews. Unlike stars such as Cate Blanchett or Anne Hathaway, he came in through a back door and exited the same way. Leo was accompanied by large bodyguards so that Blanchett, Hathaway, etc couldn’t attack him.

He didn’t speak to any of the other movie stars in the room. He took exactly two photos– one with Roberta Armani, and the other with Chadwick Boseman, who happens to be a black actor in a year when diversity is an issue.

“The Revenant” is a movie that’s been totally promoted without press involvement. In New York, there were screenings, dinners, and Q&As designed to keep press away. Same in London.

There is no moment in “The Revenant” when Leo delivers a stirring speech or has a memorable conversation. He grunts, and looks like he’s suffering. He sleeps in a horse carcass.

The whole theme of the Oscar campaign was “He deserves it after all this time.” That may be true. Actors with fewer movies or years put in have zipped past him each time he’s been nominated. That must be a puzzlement. This year, Michael Fassbender was the odds on favorite. But once “Steve Jobs” bombed at the box office, Leo had a clear path to gold.

Will it all work out? Tune in to the Oscars around 8pm Eastern and we will know the answer. PS When he wins, wait for the extremely well written *but dull** lecture on the environment. It will be enough to make you want to go outside and litter on purpose.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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