The Aviator is one of my favorites of director Martin Scorsese’s films (picking just one is just too hard, but if I were forced to choose I’d go with After Hours). It’s both a stirring biopic and a colorful look at Old Hollywood, an era Scorsese clearly respects and adores. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning five: Best Sound Mixing, Best Costume Design (won), Best Art Direction (won), Best Cinematography (won), Best Editing (won), Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor Alan Alda, Best Supporting Actress Cate Blanchett (won), Best Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Best Director and Best Picture. With its eleven nominations and five wins, The Aviator had both more nominations and more wins than the Best Picture winner (Million Dollar Baby, which had seven nominations and four wins). The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were Finding Neverland, Ray, Sideways and winner Million Dollar Baby. I’m not going to say whether I think one film should have won over the other because I think both The Aviator and Million Dollar Baby have their merits and their detractors. I’m just glad Sideways didn’t win.
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.