Leonardo DiCaprio is one of my favorite actors. I was first introduced to him on the TV show Growing Pains where he played Luke Brower, but I became a huge fan after watching his performances on film. Today marks the actor’s 44th birthday so in honor of his birthd, here are five of my favorite Leonardo DiCaprio films.
I’ve mentioned this sci-fi heist thriller before. In the film DiCaprio plays Dominick “Dom” Cobb, a professional thief who steals secrets by infiltrating the dreams of his victims. He’s facing a murder charge due to his wife’s demise and as a result, is separated from his children.
DiCaprio brilliantly captures the emotions of the character. I’m glad that director Christopher Nolan didn’t give up on asking the actor to appear in the film. For years Nolan had been trying to work with the actor and met him several times, but was unable to convince him to appear in any of his films until this one. I hope that there will be more collaboration between the two of them.
4. Django Unchained (2014)
I’ve always wondered if DiCaprio would ever be in a Quentin Tarantino film, and I finally got my answer when this movie arrived. In it, the actor plays the main villain, “Monsieur” Calvin J. Candie, a charming and brutal owner of the Candyland plantation. This was the first time I watched the actor play a villain and he did an excellent job of portraying this character who appeared to be somewhat angelic on the outside but was the devil on the inside.
One scene in which DiCaprio shines is when Candie confronts Django and Dr. Shultz after learning that the pair have pulled an elaborate scam on him in order to retrieve Django’s wife Broomhilda. During the scene, the actor cuts his hand as the cameras rolled. But that didn’t phase him, as he continued through the scene, never breaking character. As a result, his real-life, bloodied hand made it into the final cut of the film, as you can see above.
3. The Departed (2006)
I enjoy Martin Scorsese-directed films and I love it even more when DiCaprio partners up with the director, specifically in The Departed. The actor plays Billy Costigan, an agent for the Massachusetts State Police who is deep undercover in the Irish-American mob in South Boston. After discovering that there’s a mole (played by Matt Damon) in the police force employed by the criminal organization, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues and the tension mounts leading to an awesome, climatic, ending.
2. The Basketball Diaries (1995)
This film is an adaptation of poet Jim Carroll’s juvenile diaries that chronicle his fall from a promising basketball player into the world of drug addiction. DiCaprio portrays Carroll in the film and it is his riveting performance that captures the poet’s fall from grace down into the rabbit hole and back to a sane existence.
1. Romeo + Juliet (1996)
This was the first Leonardo DiCaprio movie that I saw. I was in ninth grade at the time and in my English Honors class we were discussing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet! I loved the modern, yet still classic, take of the film and the actors did a fantastic job. I still have the two film soundtracks and the film on VHS. This remains one of my all time favorite movies.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s acting is amazing, showing that he has an immense range giving the variety of roles he’s portrayed throughout the years. It’s a wonder he has yet to win an Oscar. Regardless of awards, DiCaprio has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with onscreen. What are your favorite films? Leave a comment below or on my Facebook page.