Friday, 28 May 2010

The Life of Leo

Ever since he appeared in Catch Me If You Can, and, with the- likable at times- thriller The Beach, something about Leonardo Di Caprio changed forever. A change for the better, might I clarify, as he began a journey into maturity and undertook a transformation to become an exceptional actor. Romeo and Juliet had its moments, but displayed a young, pretty and not-so-credible persona.

Regardless of the mega success of Titanic, such a role was off-putting (as a male viewer) as nothing in it challenged or affirmed any real credibility as an actor as he went through the motions. He was a boy. However, one must applaud whoever advised him to work on what have turned out to be a string of top quality films, which in turn secured his transition from adolescence to a talented, critically acclaimed professional. His talents are not to be doubted and it's therefore no coincidence how he's managed to affiliate himself with some of the best; including Danny Boyle, most recently Christopher Nolan and more frequently, Martin Scorsese.

In truth, Catch Me If You Can was solid and enjoyable. Tom Hanks complemented Leo's cheeky, as well as intelligently likeable performance perfectly. The film had directorial prowess with Spielberg at the reigns either, which helped things along nicely.

Yet it would seem from that point, as Di Caprio approached his thirties, his acting developed in a way that drew him to more serious and complex roles.
Shutter Island (pictured right), saw him, once again, play the role of a cop, but in a completely different context, which is set in the 50's. For most part of what was an atmospheric and intriguing thriller, Di Caprio played the role excellently, only scuppered by the unoriginal ending, but then, I guess it depends on what expectations you have going into it.

Notably, it has been his collaborations with Scorsese on no fewer than four features in the last eight years, that have brought him to the forefront of his profession, where he has successfully- as well as convincingly- portrayed a variety of roles. Referring to his impressive and dynamic performance as Howard Hughes in biopic tale, The Aviator (pictured left), to the undercover role of Billy Costigan in Oscar-winning, The Departed, affirms him as of my favourite actors. Another gritty and superb performance, he played the paranoia induced character well, complimented by a fantastic ensemble cast including Jack Nicholson and Martin Sheen, to name a few.

Which take us nicely to his latest release, Inception, which- by the looks of the trailer- appears to be a blend of Dark City and The Matrix, which frankly excites the pants off me.

At times it's easy to define Di Caprio as a talented, yet typecast actor. Criticism directed his way suggests he isn't all that diverse. Typical of an edgy, paranoia filled role, yet surely one could define De Niro as similarly typical in the roles he played and to great avail?

The way Leo's career is going, it wouldn't be inconceivable to suggest somewhere down the line he could have such iconic status as De Niro himself. Saying that, it'll take many more acclaimed roles and a few more collaborative efforts with Scorsese et al before such legendary status is awarded.

It's fair to say that Inception will be getting Leo yet more positive critical attention and due respect he rightfully deserves. Roll on July 16th!

Sources: The Internet Movie DataBase
Photos: Google