The Academy almost got it right. Yeah, Leonardo DiCaprio deserved the win—and rightfully so, but someone else deserved an Oscar for The Revenant, too. Tom Hardy? Nah. That damn bear that played Tic-Tac-Toe with his claws over DiCaprio’s backside should’ve won.
No. I’m only being facetious, but, really, that bear threw the perfect alley-oop for Leo to finally nab his first Oscar. After being snubbed for the past 22 years, which saw DiCaprio go 0 for 4, it was necessary that he secured his place in cinematic history. Not to say that Leo wouldn’t go down as one of the best to ever do it, but he was reaching Allen Iverson status: despite the accolades, he didn’t have that illustrious hardware to further cement his position amongst the greatest in his profession.
In The Revenant, he played a role that most of his peers wouldn’t have considered to undergo such an undertaking. Crawling around in dirt, swimming in frigid waters, braving the cold winters of life in the wilderness (aka Canada). When he got naked and squirmed his way into the corpse of a dead horse, I turned to my friend and said, “If he doesn’t win one for this film, he’ll never win.” But then again, I spoke those same sentiments when he acted his ass off in The Wolf of Wall Street, only to be bested by Matthew McConaughey 2 years prior.
Back to that damn bear, though. His co-starring role was just as important as playing alongside DiCaprio than madman Tom Hardy’s John Fitzgerald character. It’s crazy to think that Leonardo has shared screen time with the likes of Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholson, and Daniel Day-Lewis—just to name a few, has always held his own. He was never “murdered on his own shit” by any of these men. Not to mention, he was never nominated for any of those films with those said actors. But it was the bear and Tom Hardy, playing their best D. Wade and Bosh to Leo’s LeBron.
Now that Leonardo DiCaprio can officially be announced as, “Academy Award Winner…” We can all rest easy and relish in this moment. I know this year’s Oscars were controversial because there weren’t any African American actors nominated, but let’s be real, even if there were some included, I was still rooting for DiCaprio. Which speaks volumes to how great his acting abilities resonate with us as viewers. When he was up there giving his acceptance speech, everyone in attendance were on their feet to give him a standing ovation. Oh, and he was actually given time to talk without that dreaded music playing. You know that music they play during speeches to hurry your ass off stage?
After the ceremony, Leo stood there to watch his name get engraved on his trophy. Someone off camera is heard telling Leo, “They do this every year.” That moment, Leo stood there to soak up what was said to him and in true DiCaprio fashion said, “I wouldn’t know.”