Lots of folks tossing this comment around the internet right now: “I’m glad Leo won an Oscar but, like, this wasn’t even his best role.” People making this comment can fuck right off.
that wasn’t even Leo’s best role.
— soto. (@johnerasmo_) February 29, 2016
Can’t begrudge Leo winning, even for his least deserving role, because he’s one of the best actors we have. He should have a few already.
— Andrew, 2016 Edition (@Truly_Defective) February 29, 2016
Leo wins and I feel nothing, because it wasn’t his best role. Giving it to him now doesn’t make up for all the times he was robbed.
— gabrielle. (@whatgabisaid) February 29, 2016
Yeah I love Leo just not even close to his best role or movie https://t.co/jpUFMSrnMP
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) February 28, 2016
First, the Oscar doesn’t go to the nominee that performed the best relative to all their other performances. It doesn’t go to the nominee that played the best role of his career this year. That’s not how it works. Even if you do believe The Revenant wasn’t Leo’s best role, it doesn’t matter. That point is literally completely unrelated. That’s like saying, “It’s cool that Tiger Woods won the 2007 PGA Championship but his 8-under finish wasn’t as good as his second place, 9-under finish at the 2002 PGA Championship.” Yeah, that’s not how it fucking works.
If you’re the best in your category that year, you win. That’s it. It’s simple. It could be the worst performance of your career but if everyone else in that category sucks balls that year and your shitty performance was better, you win.
Everyone else’s performance didn’t suck balls this year, but the point still stands. If you’re going to say “this wasn’t even Leo’s best role,” insinuating that this isn’t the Oscar he should have won, then you have to also provide this year’s role that was better than Leo’s.
Second, adamantly declaring The Revenant wasn’t Leo’s best role is absurd. If acting at the highest level is about immersing yourself into a role of someone and something so far from the norms and the world of today that it’s damn near impossible to even imagine, then it’s tough to argue against Revenant being his best. The guy crawled around the bitter, cold, wet wilderness for months. He got mauled by a bear in a scene so realistic I had to Neosporin my back for weeks to facilitate the healing. He fashioned the greatest in-carcass bedroom since Han saved Luke in the Hoth system a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Did you find it as entertaining as Wolf Of Wall Street or as endearing as Catch Me If You Can? Nope, probably not. Neither did I. But that’s not the point. Cinematic and theatrical types don’t judge acting roles based on how entertaining us straight-off-the-shelf moviegoers find the role.
Marcus Geduld, a director for thirty years, describes it pretty clearly. “Some people think acting is good if they like the movie,” he says. “Keanu Reeves, in my mind, is a horrible actor — mostly because he’s wooden and fake … But some people like him because they think the Matrix films are cool. They confuse the movies with the actor.”
The point is simple: Just because you didn’t like The Revenant as much as you liked Titanic doesn’t mean Leo deserved an Oscar for Titanic and not for Revenant.
At the very least, this role was in the same ballpark. We all have our personal favorites, but for people to take to the interwebs to blow hot air about how “this wasn’t even Leo’s best role” is just taking a collective cheap jab at The Academy. It’s not these people genuinely believing in what they’re saying or thinking about it critically to form an opinion on this role’s merit to win an Oscar; It’s just people that like to find things wrong with things coming up with a different way of saying, “They just gave this to Leo because they felt like they owed him one.”
Bullshit. He won it because he deeply deserved it, and saying otherwise is an unwarranted discrediting of his work.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) February 29, 2016
And that folks is about as fiery as you’ll see me about an awards show.
PS – Here are a few links to the contrary opinion.
“It’s a shame that this is the role that will get Leo his hardware when it’s on the fringe of his Top 5 of all-time. But to his credit, I have never seen grunting the way he grunted in that movie. That was some A+ grunting. He also excelled in the areas of crawling and looking outwards in desperation.”