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Leonardo DiCaprio turns 42 today. He began acting in his teens, with his first major role coming when he joined the cast of the sitcom Growing Pains. He then began getting significant film roles, in films like This Boy’s Life and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, the latter of which brought him his first Oscar nomination at only 19.
In the next few years, DiCaprio had lead roles in films like The Basketball Diaries and Baz Luhrmann’s Shakespeare update, Romeo + Juliet. And then he was cast in a 1997 film, a romance set aboard an ocean liner on a collision course with an iceberg, about a handsome steerage passenger who romances a girl from a family of impoverished aristocrats:
This past weekend, Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his first Academy Award. The actor was first nominated at the age of 19 for his supporting role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. In the March 1995 article of Movieline Magazine, DiCaprio told interviewer Martha Frankel that he was horrified he might win because he was afraid of public speaking. This is early in DiCaprio’s career before Titanic made him a teen heartthrob. But even early on, you can see signs of the actor he will become two decades later. Thank goodness he got over that fear of public speaking in time to accept his Oscar!
Do you sometimes wish you lived in one of those ‘parallel universes’ or ‘alternate realities’ science fiction stories are so fond of dreaming up? You know, the kind where the whims of you and your friends would just fall into place and where your own tastes were pretty much accepted as common knowledge. Well, we’re going to give you just a little taste of what such a place would be like today. In this scenario, we plunge into the heart of a black hole and come out on the other end in a universe in which LeBlog readers are the arbiters of all pop culture taste. So much so, in fact, that when it’s time to give out the yearly awards in film (affectionately nicknamed “the Lebeaus”) it is only the members of the Academy of our readership who get a vote on the major categories. The golden statuette is a reference to two of our favorite genre pictures, Star Wars and Goldfinger. It carries a sword to deal with any smart guys who find it necessary to point out that the history of these awards goes back thirty-five years prior to either of those movies.
Today we will discover how such a world would be different from our own in respects to the film awards that were given out just this past weekend in our own tawdry original timeline. How do we know such a thing? Well, thankfully we’ve been collecting data from our readers over the last couple of weeks for just such an occasion. Obviously, from the top image you can tell that our wise readers have selected George Miller’s thrilling action sequel Mad Max: Fury Road as Best Picture of the year. The decision was not unanimous, with Earth 616’s eventual winner Spotlight posting a strong second place showing. In the end, however, brilliant production design and water tight staging of action sequences won the Lebeau for Miller and company.
Would you like to see the rest of this parallel universe? Just click below and enter a most glorious place and time.
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It’s a sure sign of our sputtering patriarchy that this has often been treated as the second most important award of the night. The traditional structure of year after year of ceremonies placed it after Best Actress and just before Best Picture on the schedule more often than not. The later the presentation of the award, the more important it is. Then last year, with what I remember to be a complete absence of fanfare, all of a sudden Eddie Redmayne was up on stage accepting his award while Best Actress still hadn’t been given out. I haven’t read any particular explanation for the change…if one was even needed. The first thing that springs to mind is that they knew who the winners were going to be and decided to give Michael Keaton a few minutes between losing for Best Actor and going up on stage as an important part of the Best Picture troupe. Or perhaps they just predicted it? Longtime favorite Julianne Moore winning at last for Still Alice certainly made for a more satisfying storyline late in the show. I’m not sure what the order of presentation will be this year, but I’d like to suggest a pre-arranged cycle in which each is given first in alternating years.
Of course, this is the one of the two that has more heat this year.
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Tobey Maguire is best-known as the first movie Spider-man. But before he donned the blue and red tights, Maguire was a promising actor who seemed destined for a long career. During the 90’s, Maguire built a reputation as a talented actor in a string of independent movies. After he crossed over into the mainstream, Maguire continued supplementing his super hero duties with high profile dramatic roles. But after he hung up his Spidey-suit, Maguire practically disappeared from the big screen.
What the hell happened?
With the Oscars now (thankfully) behind us we can look back and criticize other Oscars. While the entire internet is up in arms over Leo DiCaprio having never won, I’m going to make the case that being nominated several times is plenty of honor (last years long overdue recognition of Gary Oldman robbed me of #1 most disrespected).
Yes, winning is better, but at least you’ve been recognized as one of the best. Unlike the unfortunate actors I’m about to cover. The majority of them you probably would assume they’ve won or at least been nominated, however, for some strange reason, despite an impressive performances, star power, and overall body of work, they’ve never gotten the recognition they deserve. Let’s get snubby, shall we?
“A treasure trove of top tens to help you make your way through the booby-trapped jungle of Tinseltown’s younger stars, comers and soon-to-be-goners.”
I had a lot of fun revisiting predictions made by Movieline magazine in their 1991 Young Hollywood issue. So naturally, I went back for more. The format of the magazine changed every year. Future issues didn’t include the same “Who’s Who”-style article I covered last time. But, the 1996 issue included some fun top ten lists.
Here are some of my favorites along with some modern-day commentary of my own.