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Leonardo DiCaprio: A Viewer’s Guide
The highs and lows of the actor’s career to date

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Leonardo DiCaprio: A Viewer’s Guide |

FOR THE FAN: The Basketball Diaries (1995)

Thanks to Gilbert Grape, Leonardo DiCaprio was already an Oscar nominee and on his way to becoming a household name by the time he tackled this hunks-and-heroin biopic. Only 21, but able to pass for a whole lot younger (like, 12), he took the sheen off those boyish good looks to play New York poet-musician-hipster Jim Carrol in an adaptation of his ‘60s biography. The Basketball Diaries – aka ‘The Man With The Golden Hair’ – was a mess, but a righteous mess, in which Leo shook off worries about miscasting to flaunt his dramatic chops as a man spiralling into junk addiction. When he wasn’t fending off Bruno Kirby’s advances, he was shooting up and self-abusing on the New York skyline. It’s tough stuff, but heck, when you’ve recently been shot by Gene Hackman (Quick And The Dead) and smooched David Thewlis (Total Eclipse), what’s a bit of rooftop wanking?


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1 RE:
Absolutely good article, as far as I read it was very good over all nice article! I'll be waiting for the second edition,. Ad removed. ___________________________ More

Posted by jwaltz991 on Monday January 30, 2012, 04:44

Absolute bollocks as much as rate both Damon & Wahlberg in The Departed, this is Leo's film he's electrifying as for Nicholson it's going through the motions and nothing new, the worst thing about the film apart from Winstone's accent "Cranberry" More

Posted by agent cooper on Friday January 27, 2012, 19:23

3 RE: critters
Yeah, not being funny but The Beach doesn't deserve that little snipe at the end - it might go downhill towards the end but the first two acts are pretty good. And Blood Diamond deserved a mention - that's the first time I'd looked at Leo in a film and realised "Shit, Leo's a man now!", as opposed to that kind of man-boy he was in Gangs. More

Posted by sowasred2012 on Wednesday January 25, 2012, 14:10

4 critters
What about, Titanic, Inception, Shutter Island, Blood Diamond, The Departed. very poor list. Oh and lets not forget Critters lol More

Posted by extrablueboy on Tuesday January 24, 2012, 16:28

This, along with his role in Robert De Niro’s This Boy’s Life earlier in 2003, Might of got the dates mixed up here More

Posted by Pala36 on Sunday January 22, 2012, 11:32

6 RE:
A guide? More like a scribble. Di Caprio in Inception was the emotional catalyst that made it worth watching,it was an astounding performance. Not to even mention it is poor, lazy journalism. More

Posted by doncopey1 on Thursday January 19, 2012, 13:45

Seriously Empire, why is Gangs on the 'one to avoid' section???? Not being a brilliant film is was richly epic with a decent story about the birth of a nation and impeccably detailed with sets and costumes. It would be fair to say that the accents and a lot of the performances were average but tis still miles better than Body of Lies and although The Beach is better than BOL, both films are far more richly deserving of your 'one to avoid' maybe even Basketball Diaries should be there More

Posted by PaoloCorleone on Thursday January 19, 2012, 13:12

8 The Departed?
The Departed was one really enjoyed, but Gangs was a bit poo except for every scene scene that Daniel Day Lewis was in as he just steals celluloid with every appearance! More

Posted by leetee80 on Thursday January 19, 2012, 13:01

9 LAY OFF THE FUCKING BEACH, and are u serious with the aviator??!
The beach is a better film than the aviator. The aviator is a by the numbers biopic with a good performance, but for me the role was still too much for dicaprio. what were seeing on screen was an actor working really hard, but it never fully convinced. the beach was closer to his age and personality which you can see him comfortably play in the role and "live" it. The Aviator was boring as well. Alec Baldwin stole the show there. I agree that Day-Lewis stole Gangs...fair enough. And you left out Titanic?? It's not the effects in that movie that made it massive, it was Leo-mania!!! the fucker carried the film with kate anyone else's shoes it would have been as popular as lake placid. get ur noses out of ur asses and get serious. so angry i had to write this. More

Posted by drico on Thursday January 19, 2012, 02:53

what about blood diamond? he's great in that More

Posted by sgtwilko33 on Wednesday January 18, 2012, 23:15

11 True!
You're so right about D-Day Lewis. The man is an acting behemoth. He can overshadow ANY actor in ANY film. No-one can "flourish in his company". He is a class of his own. I just hope DiCaprio saw this film as an opportunity to try and learn a thing or two from The Master. More

Posted by Grimm on Wednesday January 18, 2012, 21:39

I agree with raven_girl Inception should deff be on this list. Haven't seen rev road yet but apart from titanic and blood diamond dicaprio i couldn't understand the hype. Inception changed that as he played Cobb brilliantly i just can't see anyone else playing him More

Posted by TheoJ on Wednesday January 18, 2012, 15:06

I would have Inception on this list for sure, I do have all the essential viewing films on dvd though having recently picked up a copy of Revolutionary Road. Never seen Gangs Of New York, the worst DiCaprio film imo is The Beach More

Posted by raven_girl on Wednesday January 18, 2012, 11:57

14 RE: No Inception or Titanic?
but on a list of 'highs and lows' of an actor's career, surely starring in one of the biggest grossing films of all time should get a mention? More

Posted by Swedle on Wednesday January 18, 2012, 10:37

15 RE: The Beach
I don't know, i like it up until about two-thirds through and then i think it goes straight downhill, apart from that, it's a damn good film! More

Posted by Swedle on Wednesday January 18, 2012, 10:36

16 Where is titanic?
i know it's a kind of love-or-hate it film, but surely it's the biggest thing he's ever done? and inception could have had a mention too! More

Posted by Swedle on Wednesday January 18, 2012, 10:34

17 No Inception or Titanic?
Oh yeah, that's because everyone's seen them both already and the list wouldn't be recommending films you've not already watched 12 times. More

Posted by Monkey_of_steel on Wednesday January 18, 2012, 08:28

18 7 films?
sorry but this is a piss poor lazy effort More

Posted by 7eke on Wednesday January 18, 2012, 00:31

19 tftf
I dont think gangs of new york should be one to avoid. i mean its hardy revolutionary but its a pretty solid and enjoyable film with some memorable and distinct characters More

Posted by fergww on Tuesday January 17, 2012, 23:54

20 Blood diamond
Is it just me or is Blood Diamond really underrated? I thought that at least deserved a mention on this feature! No mention of Titanic also seems weird seeing as it was rated 5 stars by you guys... More

Posted by james dean on Tuesday January 17, 2012, 22:48

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