The fifth time turned out to be "the charm" for Leonardo DiCaprio, who finally took home his first Oscar in his storied career for his critically-acclaimed performance in The Revenant. Many awards season pundits felt that this would finally be Leo's year, and in a night with very few "upsets," they were all proven to be correct. Here's what the actor had to say last month upon learning he was nominated for his performance.
"I am so grateful to the Academy for their recognition of this film. Making The Revenant was one of the most rewarding and collaborative experiences of my life. None of this would have been possible without Alejandro (González Iñárritu)'s talent, vision and determination. Our dedicated crew also deserves to share in this moment. Together, they have created a truly unique cinematic experience. Congratulations to all of my fellow nominees this season. Thank you to the Academy."
Leonardo DiCaprio was previously nominated for What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street. Perhaps one of his most infamous Oscar moments was when he wasn't even nominated for the record-breaking blockbuster Titanic, which went on to win 11 Oscars including Best Picture. The actor didn't even show up to the Oscar ceremony in 1998, which lead some to theorize that the Academy was collectively upset that he didn't put in an appearance. Now, nearly 20 years later, Leo finally has his first Oscar.
The Revenant was a notoriously difficult film to make, with the actor speaking out on many occasions that it was his most difficult project ever. The film went over schedule when they were forced to shut down production since the unseasonably mild Canadian winter didn't yield enough snow needed for the movie. Inspired by true events, The Revenant is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man's epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit.
In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption. The Revenant landed 12 Oscar nominations, the most for any film this year, but it only won three Oscars, one for Leonardo DiCaprio, one for Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu) and one for Best Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki). Are you glad that Leo finally got his first Oscar?