CONTEST: Win DVDs of ‘Inception’ and ‘Shutter Island’

Posted by · 10:30 am · December 10th, 2010

This morning we wrapped up a massive two-part interview with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, whose performances in “Inception” and particularly “Shutter Island” in 2010 reflected a movie star very much at the top of his game.  So in the spirit of his wonderful year of output, it seemed a good time to kick off our contests with a chance to win a DVD of each film.

But you have to work for it.  Stretch the ole’ brain a bit and come up with an engaging piece of persuasive writing.  Using the comments section below, tell us what your favorite DiCaprio performance is to date.  That’s the full canon, starting with the groundbreaking, brilliant, truly stunning and revelatory, uh, “Critters 3,” and moving all the way through his latest portrayal in Christopher Nolan’s summer blockbuster.  Be convincing.

It’s best to put a limit on things, for purposes of length and also to make sure we get some potent responses.  I think 100 words is plenty, so anything that goes over that mark, I’ll have to disqualify.  Have at it!

[Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures]

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68 responses so far

  • 1 12-10-2010 at 4:15 pm

    Oscar said...

    The BEST performance of Leonardo DiSexio’s career is THE BASKETBALL DIARIES. TAGLINE The death of innocence and the birth of an artist which sums up Leo’s film career as he has turned from pretty boy in Titanic to one of the best actors in the history of cinema. DiCaprio shows so much range playing a drugged up misfit. Also a film starring Mark Wahlberg and Lorraine Bracco. I bet Martin Scorsese is kicking himself for not directing this film and wishes he had a time machine so he could go back to 1995. PLEASE let me win INCEPTION!!

  • 2 12-10-2010 at 5:11 pm

    austin111 said...

    The best is yet to be! That’s not damnation of his other work but I can sense he’s getting better and better. His work in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape was probably his most freewheeling and certainly I felt he was often being driven by the director to take Arnie as far as possible without becoming really monstrous or totally annoying, which he did in spades. I think his greatest strength as an actor is an undercurrent of tenderness that was also on display in “Inception”, in that moment when he put his gloved hand on the ankle of his dream wife, played by Marion Cotillard to perfection, but also when he finally found his way back to his kids at the end. It’s also apparent in “Titanic” in the infamous sequence at the bow of the ship with Winslet’s Rose. The way they intertwine hands and kiss is just as tender as it is romantic, almost overcoming the inevitable air of hokiness. Then there is “Shutter Island”. The first dream sequence with Williams is heavy with emotion, much of it provided by DiCaprio, and similarly in the scene with Jackie Earl Haley, when he refuses to give up his delusions because he can’t let go of his dead wife. My dream is for DiCaprio to find a director and script that will enhance that underlying tenderness as well as what I suspect is an innate capacity for comedy, because comedy can often be as heartbreaking as it is funny.

  • 3 12-10-2010 at 6:32 pm

    Mr. Harmonica said...

    Revolutionary Road.

    I never like DiCaprio because I had primarily seen a string of ‘tough-guy’ performances by him; Gangs of New York, Blood Diamond, The Departed, and I found him utterly unconvincing in all of them. When he raised his voice he came off as a kid who dropped his ice cream cone, so when RR came along, a role that required this of him, he knocked it out of the park.

  • 4 12-10-2010 at 8:13 pm

    DylanS said...

    Leonardo DiCaprio’s best performance was also his breakthrough performance, and I’m not refering to “Titanic”. His best performance is the incredible portrayal of mentally-handicaped Arnie Grape in Lasse Hallostrom’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”. If playing opposite Johnny Depp in every scene wasn’t a daunting enough task, Leo had to be completely believable with his mannerisms and speaking style in a role which has on recent viewing, a surprisingly large amount of screen time. This is the kind of role that would pose a challnge to even the most experienced method actor, Leo was 18 at the time. But it is not his control over his performance that impresses me the most, it is his genuinity and his ability to emotionally connect you to the story in a surprising way. Is there any other actor who could play that role at that time? I submit that there is not.

  • 5 12-10-2010 at 9:16 pm

    Eunice said...

    Leonardo DiCaprio is a kaleidoscope of people and events unraveling faster than an Escher–the teenage heartthrob, the take-no-prisoners professional, the manipulative charmer—and with every twist and turn, we see a sublime, multi-faceted performer.

    Personally, I deem his “Romeo + Juliet” his personal best, because in Baz Luhrmann’s spectacle of an adaptation, we see DiCaprio as the kaleidoscope that he truly is, all of his rage, his joy, his tragedy, his struggle, and most of all, the purity of his potential, in an actor’s showcase that stays true to the material and rings true in our hearts as well.

  • 6 12-10-2010 at 10:15 pm

    Danny King said...

    DiCaprio has arguably never been challenged more than he was in Sam Mendes’ “Revolutionary Road,” and he has arguably never been more accomplished. Many of the actor’s notable performances—coming in “Gangs of New York,” “The Aviator,” “The Departed,” or his 2010 efforts—are on a grand scale. (Either that, or he’s surrounded by a viable cast.) But in Mendes’ film, it’s just him and Winslet—as well as a brief Michael Shannon—inside their cramped 1950s home. The result is nothing short of blistering; a piercingly honest portrayal of suburban deconstruction that owes a great debt to its performers.

  • 7 12-10-2010 at 11:28 pm

    Kristina Wilson said...

    Blood Diamond was soooo amazing to me! Leonardo’s accent, the music, everything was just WOW! He should’ve won best actor for this but I know the topic of the movie made the U.S. look bad. but this movie really opens up a person’s eyes! it really did to me!

  • 8 12-10-2010 at 11:56 pm

    Mason W. said...

    No denying he’s a talented actor. People always seem to forget what a brilliant performance he gave in the Basketball Diaries. It’s not one of my favorite movies, but his turn as a heroin addict was astonishingly good. Even though I enjoy some of his other films more (i.e. The Departed, Gangs of New York and definitely Inception), I think this one demanded the most of him. Favorite film with Leo? Inception. Favorite performance by Leo? Basketball Diaries followed closely by Gilbert Grape.

  • 9 12-11-2010 at 7:53 am

    Bryan said...

    DiCaprio, expressed with Revolutionary Road’s Frank Wheeler a complete grasp of the character, so in control that the audience understands exactly Frank’s motivations and sentiments. He brings out the lost dreamer buried in the complacent and comfortable man secure in his job and social status. Dicaprio’s looks—baby-face finally blossoming into maturity—work well to express that Frank, while he still remembers what he used to (not) want to be in his youth (a company man like his father), realizes that that path is comfortable, that it’s easily navigable. When he finally falls apart, it is genuine and heartbraking.

  • 10 12-11-2010 at 8:48 am

    JJ1 said...

    Pleased and surprised to see so many Frank Wheeler’s. Why is it, then, that many people consider it one of his lesser works, as well. Literally, what makes his performance stand-out as both brilliant, and not? For those who don’t like it, is it seen as too over thetop? Not like the novel? etc.

  • 11 12-11-2010 at 9:22 am

    Nick said...

    DiCaprio’s performance as Frank Wheeler in “Revolutionary Road” is absolutely heart-breaking and haunting. Although Kate Winslet was singled out by many critics, something must be said for DiCaprio’s raw passion and desperation as a man trying to cling onto his disintegrating life. His face during the scene where he arrives home to his family singing “Happy Birthday”, immediately after he cheated on his wife, registers so many different emotions, and has such a lasting impact. An actor can only dream for such a memorable scene, and DiCaprio’s films are filled with them.

  • 12 12-11-2010 at 11:23 am

    Isaac Richter said...

    I’m going with his performance as Frank Abagnale in Catch Me If You Can. While I’ve enjoyed seeing DiCaprio’s growth as an actor, this is the closest thing he’s come to a comedic role in a long time and it shows that he has a talent for it. He uses those boyish looks he has to make Frank both cunning and innocent at the same time, and ultimately very endearing. He’s dong an amazing job, but I would love to see something else like this in the future.

  • 13 12-11-2010 at 5:14 pm

    twc said...

    Frank Wheeler: insecure, childish, short tempered, abusive, egotistical. Deep raging anger inside him drives him to strike his wife, but his raw gutted self just barely holds the hit back. Needy whimpers and desiring affection from april quickly turns into infantile tantrums and violent screaming from a distraught soul. His screaming, crying, laughing, love making, and just every day being was a perplexing labyrinth of what we know as a human being. Thats why I was shocked to find out at I wasn’t seeing the REAL Frank Wheeler. It was actually an actor by the name of Leonardo Dicaprio.

  • 14 12-11-2010 at 6:01 pm

    Linda said...

    Have to go with “Romeo and Juliet”, the movie that opened my 12-year-old eyes to the magic of movies. It’s the reason I work in the entertainment industry today. And it’s not often that your first celebrity crush stands the test of time and doesn’t become an embarrassing anecdote a dozen years later, so thanks, Leo! Is it his best performance? Probably not. Is it and will it always be my favorite? Absolutely.

  • 15 12-11-2010 at 7:20 pm

    Daniel said...

    DiCaprio’s performance in “Catch Me If You Can” is perhaps his best because of the emotional depth he brings to the role. Yes, it’s entertaining to see Frank trick people into believing he’s someone important, but all that can be found in your average heist movie. DiCaprio makes it something more. Instead of a witty con man, we are given a scared little boy driven by his desire to bring his family back together. It’s a heartbreaking performance, but would we do any different in his place?

  • 16 12-11-2010 at 7:31 pm

    Jonathan Jordan said...

    “The Departed.” playing a good guy with a bad guy attitude undercover as a bad guy whilst warring with his bad guy urges while being motivated by his true good guy-ness. from an acting standpoint, this is a psychological and emotional challenge to embody in character, but he utterly nails it.

  • 17 12-12-2010 at 9:27 am

    eurocheese said...

    To be honest, I didn’t take Leonardo DiCaprio seriously as an actor until The Departed. There was no doubt with his previous Scorsese efforts that he was trying to elevate himself, but this was the first film where it truly worked. I bought every second of that performance, making the character’s arc that much more powerful in the end. He served as the perfect counterpoint to Matt Damon’s “friggin bow on it” performance. I wish he had been placed in the right category and won the Oscar that year. (Also, dude’s gorgeous in the film. Just sayin’.)

  • 18 12-12-2010 at 6:04 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Thanks for all the entries, guys. We’ll announce a winner on Monday.