Every Movie Where Leonardo DiCaprio Was Snubbed at the Oscars Before Killers of the Flower Moon

Leonardo DiCaprio was overlooked for several best performances, including Martin Scorsese’s films.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s love-hate relationship with the Academy continues as he was notably absent from the nominee list for Best Actor at the 96th Academy Awards. DiCaprio played the role of Ernest Burkhart in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. The film earned ten nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for Lily Gladstone. Many believe that DiCaprio’s villain/anti-hero role in the film may have influenced the Academy voters’ decision.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon

Despite an impressive portfolio enviable to many actors, DiCaprio has faced consistent snubs for the Best Actor Oscar, starting with his iconic role in Titanic. His only Oscar win to date came for The Revenant. However, these five movie roles were considered by many as deserving of the prestigious award.

Catch Me if You Can

Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks in Catch Me If You CanLeonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks in Catch Me If You CanBefore the 75th Academy Awards in 2003, Leonardo DiCaprio was the favorite to win the award with two power-packed performances. In Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, DiCaprio played the revenge-seeking youngster, Amsterdam Vallon. However, he impressed audiences more when he seamlessly transitioned from that role to the high school teenager Frank Abagnale in Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can.

DiCaprio effortlessly captured the young con man in the film, while delivering on the subtle emotional beats of the film. He didn’t get nominated for either film, despite matching the performance levels of Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis and Tom Hanks. The Best Actor award for that year went to Adrien Brody for The Pianist. Catch Me If You Can is now available for streaming on Paramount+.

The Departed

Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon in The DepartedLeonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon in The Departed
One of the significant snubs in Leonardo DiCaprio’s career came with The DepartedThe Wolf of Wall Street actor’s performance received widespread acclaim and was even recognized with several nominations. He was nominated for the Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice Award, People’s Choice Award, and SAG Awards, that year. However, he was overlooked by the Academy voters that year.Notably, The Departed earned five nominations at the 79th Academy Awards, winning four. This included Martin Scorsese’s only Best Director Award to date. Interestingly, DiCaprio was among the nominees for another film, Blood Diamond, which many argued was inferior to his performance in The Departed. Forest Whitaker took home the Best Actor Award for The Last King of Scotland. The Departed is now available for rent on AppleTV+.

Revolutionary Road

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Revolutionary RoadLeonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road marked the reunion of Titanic stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. While Titanic depicted the story of two lovers willing to sacrifice everything for their love, this film portrayed a couple slowly drifting apart and grappling with personal issues. Winslet and DiCaprio delivered convincing performances, yet neither received Oscar nominations.

The film earned three nominations at the 81st Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Michael Shannon, Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design. Interestingly, the Mare of Easttown actress won the Best Actress award that year for her role in The Reader. However, DiCaprio was once again overlooked, with the Best Actor Award going to Sean Penn for Milk. Revolutionary Road is now available for streaming on Max.

Shutter Island

Leonardo DiCaprio in Shutter IslandLeonardo DiCaprio and Michelle Williams in Shutter Island
Another year, another Scorsese film, another double Oscar snub for DiCaprio. The Aviator actor starred in two highly acclaimed movies in 2010. His film Inception was majorly considered for the technical awards, while Shutter Island was totally absent from the nominations. The film saw one of the best emotional performances from DiCaprio, playing Deputy U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels.

Released in February 2010, Shutter Island‘s early release date, combined with the studio’s lack of effort in promoting the film to Academy voters, resulted in a total snub. Many believe that had the film been released later in the year, it could have been the year’s biggest contender. Colin Firth won the Best Actor at the 83rd Academy Awards for The King’s Speech. Shutter Island is now available for streaming on Prime Video.

J. Edgar

Leonardo DiCaprio in J. EdgarLeonardo DiCaprio in J. EdgarLeonardo DiCaprio’s subtle and persuasive performance as the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover, was overlooked during the 84th Academy Awards. The main reason for this snub was the mixed critical reviews of J. Edgar. The website consensus of Rotten Tomatoes aptly described the only saving grace of the Clint Eastwood film as the “predictably powerhouse performance” of DiCaprio. However, the film was marred by “cheesy makeup, poor lighting, confusing narrative, and humdrum storytelling.”

While the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards recognized DiCaprio’s performance in the film, the Academy voters completely ignored the film. It was the year when Jean Dujardin took home the coveted Best Actor award for The ArtistJ. Edgar is now available for rent on AppleTV+.

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