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Everybody Wants to be Us

Graduate Student at Loyola University Chicago. Check out the blog for what I'm currently obsessed with in film and culture. Michael Fassbender, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Winslet, Christian Bale, Jesse Eisenberg, David Lynch, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, and Daniel Radcliffe are regulars here.

#leonardo dicaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio reflects on his unique early career decisions, making ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ and producing films that matter in the current marketplace.

 LA Times profile on Leonardo DiCaprio  accentuates his humble roots, Scorsese as a mentor, and surviving childhood through acting.
Here’s a excerpt on ‘Wolf’ and issues of income inequality:

Some of the harshest criticism has focused on whether “Wolf” exalts the excesses it depicts. DiCaprio took pains to defend and define the movie’s tone shortly after its Christmas Day release, including an interview with The Times. That media offensive added more fuel to the fire for some who questioned what right a wealthy Hollywood star like DiCaprio had to address the subject of income disparity in America.
"Who am I to talk about this?" DiCaprio says, opening a second bottle of Coke, warming to the subject. "It goes back to that neighborhood. It came from the fact that I grew up very poor and I got to see the other side of the spectrum."
That happened when DiCaprio won a scholarship to University Elementary School (now known as the UCLA Lab School). Each day, DiCaprio’s mom drove him 10 miles to Westwood, a fairly short journey that crossed a great economic and cultural gulf.
"It was like this little Garden of Eden," he remembers. "There was a park and kids were playing in the sunshine and everything was multicultural, everything was peaceful, every religion and race and attitude was respected equally. And if I went to play with my friends, I would drive to Beverly Hills and go in their backyard and there’d be a waterfall there. I mean, a waterfall! In the backyard? What the … ".

Read more here: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/moviesnow/la-et-mn-leonardo-dicaprio-20140130,0,611473.story#ixzz2rvE3oVV4

LA Times profile on Leonardo DiCaprio  accentuates his humble roots, Scorsese as a mentor, and surviving childhood through acting.

Here’s a excerpt on ‘Wolf’ and issues of income inequality:

Some of the harshest criticism has focused on whether “Wolf” exalts the excesses it depicts. DiCaprio took pains to defend and define the movie’s tone shortly after its Christmas Day release, including an interview with The Times. That media offensive added more fuel to the fire for some who questioned what right a wealthy Hollywood star like DiCaprio had to address the subject of income disparity in America.

"Who am I to talk about this?" DiCaprio says, opening a second bottle of Coke, warming to the subject. "It goes back to that neighborhood. It came from the fact that I grew up very poor and I got to see the other side of the spectrum."

That happened when DiCaprio won a scholarship to University Elementary School (now known as the UCLA Lab School). Each day, DiCaprio’s mom drove him 10 miles to Westwood, a fairly short journey that crossed a great economic and cultural gulf.

"It was like this little Garden of Eden," he remembers. "There was a park and kids were playing in the sunshine and everything was multicultural, everything was peaceful, every religion and race and attitude was respected equally. And if I went to play with my friends, I would drive to Beverly Hills and go in their backyard and there’d be a waterfall there. I mean, a waterfall! In the backyard? What the … ".

Read more here:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/moviesnow/la-et-mn-leonardo-dicaprio-20140130,0,611473.story#ixzz2rvE3oVV4
bbook:

WE’LL NEVER LET GO - UNIQUE CREATURE: LEONARDO DICAPRIO
Whether he’s playing a mentally-handicapped teenager coping with the strains of his family, an infamous conman making his way around the world, a family man wrestling with the trials of love, or a psychopathic slave-owner, Leo always sinks his teeth fully into every role—giving a performance that’s brimming with conviction, intensity, charm, and agility, always with that signature essence of Leo that lingers no matter within which character he disappears. And it’s that rare amalgamation of charm and talent that’s made him not only one of Hollywood’s most beloved leading men but also a cultural icon with unwavering force. The transition from childhood actor to teen heartthrob to respected adult actor isn’t always an easy feat—many have let their flame burn out too soon and never fulfilled on the promise of their talent, but Leo has done nothing but prove time and time again that he’s more than deserving of that Oscar we’ve yet to see him take home.

So right!!!

bbook:

WE’LL NEVER LET GO - UNIQUE CREATURE: LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Whether he’s playing a mentally-handicapped teenager coping with the strains of his family, an infamous conman making his way around the world, a family man wrestling with the trials of love, or a psychopathic slave-owner, Leo always sinks his teeth fully into every role—giving a performance that’s brimming with conviction, intensity, charm, and agility, always with that signature essence of Leo that lingers no matter within which character he disappears. And it’s that rare amalgamation of charm and talent that’s made him not only one of Hollywood’s most beloved leading men but also a cultural icon with unwavering force. The transition from childhood actor to teen heartthrob to respected adult actor isn’t always an easy feat—many have let their flame burn out too soon and never fulfilled on the promise of their talent, but Leo has done nothing but prove time and time again that he’s more than deserving of that Oscar we’ve yet to see him take home.

So right!!!

"I am deeply humbled by this honor and even happier to share today with Marty, Jonah, Terry as well as this entire cast and crew. ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ has been a passion project of mine, and I found the role to be one of the most challenging and rewarding of my career. Congratulations to all of my fellow nominees and thank you to the Academy for this extraordinary recognition."

-Leonardo DiCaprio on his Oscar Nomination

BEST FILMS OF 2013
3) THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
For their fifth collaboration, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio deliver the funniest and most outrageous film of the year.  Wickedly hilarious and wildly decadent, The Wolf of Wall Street explores the moral corruption of high rolling swindlers.  In the most rigorous performance of the year, DiCaprio holds the screen for every second of the 3 hour running time with the funniest and most physically demanding performance of his amazing career.  As Jordan Belfort, DiCaprio depicts a person with little to no empathy or moral capacity.  He lives only for himself and the constant pursuit of pleasure, often at the expense of others, even those he claims to care about.  Wolf of Wall Street doesn’t celebrate these thieves, instead the film depicts the moral depravity of those who scheme to ruin other for their own benefit.

BEST FILMS OF 2013

3) THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

For their fifth collaboration, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio deliver the funniest and most outrageous film of the year.  Wickedly hilarious and wildly decadent, The Wolf of Wall Street explores the moral corruption of high rolling swindlers.  In the most rigorous performance of the year, DiCaprio holds the screen for every second of the 3 hour running time with the funniest and most physically demanding performance of his amazing career.  As Jordan Belfort, DiCaprio depicts a person with little to no empathy or moral capacity.  He lives only for himself and the constant pursuit of pleasure, often at the expense of others, even those he claims to care about.  Wolf of Wall Street doesn’t celebrate these thieves, instead the film depicts the moral depravity of those who scheme to ruin other for their own benefit.

BEST FILMS OF 2013
12) THE GREAT GATSBY

 Before seeing Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation, I re-read Fitzgerald’s novel for the first time in 13 years.  I remembered the doomed ambition of Jay Gatsby to capture the love of Daisy Buchanan, the brutal and hypocritical Tom Buchanan, the harsh elegance of Jordan Baker, and the incisive moral judgement of the narrator Nick Caraway.   All those elements are vividly brought to the screen from the decedent parties to the broiling, alcohol drenched arguments.  Each actor brings Fitzgerald’s words to life, especially Carey Mulligan playing both the dream girl and disappointing reality, which is hard to conceive even with Fitzgerald’s expert prose.  And I don’t have the words to express how good Leonardo DiCaprio is as Gatsby.  He nails the flashiness, eagerness, and combustable insecurity of the man.  

BEST FILMS OF 2013

12THE GREAT GATSBY

Before seeing Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation, I re-read Fitzgerald’s novel for the first time in 13 years.  I remembered the doomed ambition of Jay Gatsby to capture the love of Daisy Buchanan, the brutal and hypocritical Tom Buchanan, the harsh elegance of Jordan Baker, and the incisive moral judgement of the narrator Nick Caraway.   All those elements are vividly brought to the screen from the decedent parties to the broiling, alcohol drenched arguments.  Each actor brings Fitzgerald’s words to life, especially Carey Mulligan playing both the dream girl and disappointing reality, which is hard to conceive even with Fitzgerald’s expert prose.  And I don’t have the words to express how good Leonardo DiCaprio is as Gatsby.  He nails the flashiness, eagerness, and combustable insecurity of the man.  

Golden Globes Picks

Wanted to quickly log my Globes Picks for films.  

Best Original Song

“Please Mr Kennedy,” “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Music by: Ed Rush, George Cromarty, T Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Has there ever been a greater list of nominees?  

Best Original Score

Hans Zimmer, “12 Years A Slave”

This is so hard because two of my favorite scores aren’t nominated (Her and Philomena), but Zimmer’s musics brings us into Solomon Northup’s inner turmoil and is beautiful.  

Best Screenplay

John Ridley, “12 Years A Slave”

So many great nominees, but Ridley’s screenplay wonderfully gives voice to so many experiences in the film, while keeping focus on Solomon Northup’s story. 

Best Director

Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”

I mean, no contest. McQueen must win.

Best Supporting Actor

Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”

Fassy, always and forever.  Really, Fassbender gives his best performance here. 

Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Lawrence “American Hustle” Or Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”

I honestly can’t pick this one.  Sally Hawkins and June Squib are amazing.  Nyong’o is a revelation and superb.  Yet, Lawrence steals every scene in a crowded field of manic characters and absurd situations.  

Best Foreign Language Film

???

I’ve only seen Blue is the Warmest Color, but I’m more intrigued by the other nominees 

Best Animated Feature Film

"Frozen"

Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy

Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Leonardo DiCaprio gives the biggest, funniest, and most physical performance out of this bunch.  Bale is great, but fades into the other performances.  I don’t see anything compelling about Dern’s performance, actually loving Will Forte and June Squib more.  And I don’t think Isaac and Phoenix should be in this category.  

Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy

Amy Adams, “American Hustle” OR Julie Delpy, “Before Midnight”

Another tough call.  I’m rooting for Amy Adams, but I would love Delpy to get some love for continually bringing nuance and growing a character over the three films.

Best Motion Picture Comedy

“The Wolf Of Wall Street”

If we’re calling it a comedy, then ‘Wolf’ has it.  I could also see ‘American Hustle’ winning. 

Best Actor Drama

Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”

No contest here. For the close ups alone, Ejiofor has it in the bag.

Best Actress Drama

Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”

Don’t see how this isn’t an actual comedy, but whatever.  All these performances (except for Winslet, which hasn’t even come out) are the best of the year.  Yet, Blanchett’s character inspires so much humor, loathing, and sympathy.  It’s a tricky role and she’s nails it. 

Best Picture Drama

“12 Years a Slave”

It’s a masterpiece and the essential film of the year.  ’Gravity’ is right behind it for me. 

Also, I’m so happy to see Rush included here.  

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