We often hear about an actor’s range and praise them for working in a variety of genres, etc. Rarely, however, do we hear the same praise for directors. Sam Mendes is one of those directors who never does the same thing twice. His debut film, 1999′s American Beauty was a slice of life family drama. It went on to win five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. His second film, 2002′s Road To Perdition was a period crime drama. In 2005 he made the dark comedy/war drama Jarhead. Three years later was the 2008 literary adaptation/period drama Revolutionary Road, which he followed up less than six months later with the indie dramedy Away We Go. Each of these films is so different from the other, but what they all have in common is Mendes’ strong direction, resulting in a plethora of amazing, complicated, compelling performances.
I thought it would be timely to write about DiCaprio this weekend considering he’s just had his biggest film opening ever. The Christopher Nolan penned and helmed Inception has already made $60.4 mil (that’s more than 2006′s Blood Diamond made in its entire run) and has landed at the top of the box office. 2010 has really been DiCaprio’s year; he’s starred in two of the best films of the year and has given two of the best performances of his career. I’m going to go over some of my favorite and, in my opinion, best roles he’s played over the years.
At this point we’re pretty much set with the performances that will get nominated for the Oscars. There might be one or two surprise nominees – think Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road last year – but other than that the nominees aren’t going to be much of a surprise.
I’d like to take a moment to discuss five performances that have been all but over looked this awards season. These are all performances that I loved instantly and are all featured in films I will probably return to again and again.