- Leonardo DiCaprio is good at everything: also sitting, like here in “Aviator”. (picture-alliance / Mary Evans Picture Library)
Leonardo DiCaprio is considered one of the best actors in Hollywood. Arte is now dedicating a documentary to him with the appropriate subtitle: “Most Wanted”. An occasion to look back at how DiCaprio masters even the most mundane actions with flying colors.
5th place – “Kissing” in “Total Eclipse” (1995)
Leonardo DiCaprio plays the French poet Arthur Rimbaud for Agnieszka Holland, who falls in love with Paul Verlaine – David Thewlis. The first kiss between the two men. DiCaprio – 21 he’s there -, almost chubby, young rogue, gay artist, consuming, self-destructive, ingenious. The kiss innocent and yet intense and blazing. Above all: alive! Because of fear of the homophobia of the audience after the successes with “Gilbert Grape” or “Jim Carroll – In the streets of New York”, no: courage means putting yourself at the service of the role.
4th place – “Dancing” in “Titanic” (1997)
Jack and Rose. Before the Titanic collides with the iceberg, the exuberant dance between the two in the intermediate deck. Before love, romance, yes, kitsch and the “Titanic” drama that only Rose, not Jack, will survive. Here the dramaturgical counterpoint of dance, pure joy of life. Acting is also body control; the art of letting the body in the scene become a medium of expression and emotions. And DiCaprio dances like a berserk. But so is Kate Winslet.
3rd place – “Sitting” in “Aviator” (2004)
The opposite of movement: standing still. Immobilizing the body. Perhaps Howard Hughes – tool and film producer, aviation pioneer – has already gone mad in his cinema room, which he houses alone with the infinite number of milk bottles filled with urine, lined up in an infinite row. DiCaprio naked in the white leather armchair, his upper body scarred, his beard lank, his eyes red under the eyes. To let the emotional bomb tick in this rigidity. Without an explosion. Such images dig themselves in with the tension that one can easily (!) Create here.
2nd place – “Drinking” in “The Departed” (2006)
“A cranberry juice,” orders Billy when he first contacts him. The neighbor at the bar blasphemes: “This stuff is good for the bladder. My friend drinks when she has her period. Are you on your period?” Exciting, disturbing, how DiCaprio looks away, unsettled, takes a drag from the cigarette, then the beer glass hits the other on the skull: Perhaps it is not the violence that is the disturbing as the fascinating as the grandiose thing about DiCaprio’s game, but the eruptive nature of this outbreak: like lightning , instinctive, animalistic, driven by the evil archaic power of the offended man.
1st place – “Eating with a knife and fork” in “Django Unchained” (2012)
Acting: Increase the force of the game with the props. Plantation owner Candie alias DiCaprio negotiates over dinner with the prospective buyer – Christoph Waltz – about a battle slave. Leonardo DiCaprio, seated at the head of the table, first spices the meat on his plate with the pepper mill, exhibited affectively; then picks up the cutlery while he continues to conserve. But the knife and fork, which – apparently by accident – he repeatedly points at Schultz, reveal the deep structure of this apparently cultivated conversation.
Knife and fork, as Leonardo DiCaprio apparently uses on the side, yes, of course, when eating – the merciless ruler! -, they convey the brutal and satanic side of this man. Leonardo DiCaprio’s mastery is the combination of play, expression and, as can be studied in this scene from “Django Unchained”, precise craftsmanship. Art comes from ability!