Leonardo DiCaprio

Aaron Sorkin

Remember way, way back in 2012, when it seemed as if we were due to get not one, but two whole Steve Jobs biopics? There was going to be the super-serious, well-researched one with a bold script by Aaron Sorkin, and then also an indie feature penned by a total Hollywood outsider that starred a dude from That ’70s Show. It was a wonderful time, one that offered something for truly everyone. It didn’t pan out. Sure, the Ashton Kutcher-starring Jobs was made (even opening at Sundance!), but Sorkin’s film is still in limbo, thanks to a slow cycle through directors (as of this count, just two, but two big ones) and its inability to lock down a leading man. Last set to be directed by Danny Boyle with his Beach star Leonardo DiCaprio on board to play Jobs, the Sony film has now lost DiCaprio (the one actor who was ever officially attached to the film), yet another bump in an increasingly beleaguered road. So what happened? Well, all this stuff.

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Jonah Hill and Leo DiCaprio in WOWS

We’ve known since February that the fabled Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill bromance first seen in The Wolf of Wall Street would continue into a second film. We’ve also known who that film would be about: Richard Jewell, the security guard who saved the ’96 Olympics from a bomb threat and was wrongfully crucified for it. And now thanks to Deadline, we know who’s interested in directing it (“circling” the project, as they say): Paul Greengrass. Makes sense, given that the script is being handled by Captain Phillips writer Billy Ray. Right now, some outlets are referring to the pic as American Nightmare, but it’s not totally clear if that’s the official title or just something taken from the Vanity Fair expose this is all based off of, “American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell.”

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Tom and Leo in Inception

Two years ago, we told you about a project teaming up Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Tobey Maguire as producers of a drama about animal trafficking for Warner Bros. The film was inspired by Hardy’s friends, former Special Forces operatives who went on to become anti-poaching fighters in South Africa and other nations where the problem ran rampant. Although that project is still in development with Hardy in the lead, Deadline reports the same three have signed with the same studio to produce another film about the same issue, and they may all star in this one. Scripted by Will Staples, so far best known for writing video games and the as-yet-unmade Mission: Impossible 5, the new project will follow a structure somewhat in the vein of Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, as in it’s taking a multistory approach to the impact of animal poaching. The film will explore the heinous industry from every facet and angle, from the dirty back door dealings that start the whole process, to a glimpse into the life of a poacher — and what could possibly make hunting down and slaying animals for profit a great career choice — to every single minion hanging out in the seedy dark corners of a trade that okays capturing an elephant for its ivory and storming the seas to fish for sharks for their valuable fins.

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Danny Boyle and Leonardo DiCaprio For The Beach

The last time we saw Leonardo DiCaprio in a Danny Boyle movie, he was in an internet cafe checking his email. That wouldn’t be such a striking image in most movies, but it is in The Beach, a feature released in 2000 in which the actor spends most of the running time in a secret, self-sustaining Southeast Asia island utopia. And now it’s an interesting place for the actor and director to have left off because, according to The Hollywood Reporter, their next collaboration is probably going to involve a lot computers, and there will likely also be a very significant piece of the movie set in 2000, which is when Apple began work on a little something called iTunes. Yeah, that’s right, this reunion will be for the Steve Jobs biopic written by Aaron Sorkin that David Fincher recently departed. Cue the photoshops of Leo in a black turtleneck. Wait, never mind, there’s the one taken by Terry Richardson for GQ right over here.

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Whats Eating Gilbert Grape

Another year, another Oscar ceremony in the books. Once the booze wears off from Matthew McConaughey’s final “Alright, alright, alright,” of our year in film, we can get down to the really important part of the Oscars and start second-guessing the winners. Sunday night is all about rewarding actors and filmmakers for their hard work in the past year. Monday morning is reserved for the art of tearing down our sacred idols, convincing our coworkers that we always thought American Hustle was a little overrated or that Dallas Buyers Club was more than just a Philadelphia knock-off. And somewhere in the middle of all these conversations, someone will ask about Leonardo DiCaprio. When will the poor guy ever win an Oscar? Last month, Esquire ran a story on Leonardo DiCaprio titled “The Moment Leonardo DiCaprio Became a Man.” In a throwaway line intended to highlight his perpetually boyish good looks, his agent Rick Yorn refers to DiCaprio as a character actor in a leading man’s body. This intended compliment instead offers a great deal of insight into DiCaprio’s performances and why he is so often overshadowed by those around him. Including last night’s nomination for The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated for four acting Academy Awards (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, WoWS) without taking home a single statue. During that same period, DiCaprio’s films have generated an additional eleven nominations for his co-stars and supporting cast, with Cate Blanchett and Christoph Waltz each walking away with the final prize.

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Oscar Predictions 2014: Actor

The Best Actor field this year is a bit different than normal. Christian Bale is the only nominee to have won an Oscar, and that was in the Best Supporting Actor category. More over, two of the nominees (Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughey) have never received a nomination before. It’s not that these guys are newcomers. They’ve been acting for years, some of them in respected and popular films. The Academy is just finally getting around to giving them some recognition. Still, each nomination comes with a social issue attached to it. Whether it be the greed of American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street, the plight of the elderly in Nebraska, slavery and white guilt in 12 Years a Slave, or good old fashioned AIDS baiting for the Academy voters in Dallas Buyers Club, these nominations could be seen as a nod to the issue rather than the actor. (This could explain why Robert Redford and Tom Hanks were shut out of the contest this year: no social issues with lost yachters and captains who thwart Somali pirate attacks.) No matter what, someone will be winning his first Best Actor Oscar. Keep reading for a look at all five nominees for Best Actor along with my predicted winner in red…

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wolf

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street was one of those movies that really divided people. It was super-long, it was full of super-disgusting things, and it never fully showed its hand in regards to how you were supposed to be feeling about all of the repetitive debauchery it put up on the screen. Some people think that it’s a sharp takedown of the behavior of Wall Street executives, while others think that it’s a piece of exploitation trash, meant to do little other than glorify greed, drug abuse, and philandering. That’s a pretty wide divide to exist between opinions regarding the same movie. What pretty much everyone can absolutely agree upon in regards to The Wolf of Wall Street, however, is that two of its lead actors, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, put a powerful mix of chemistry on display as they played a pair of best friends/garbage human beings—with that infamous scene where they both take too many quaaludes and wind up experiencing a drug-induced freakout making an exceptionally strong case for the theory that these guys need to team up more often so that they can keep making weird movie magic together. And it looks like our wish has been granted. Deadline has news that Fox also sees potential in the DiCaprio and Hill pairing, so they’ve bought the rights to a story that will get them back together on set as soon as possible.

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jonah hill wolf of wall street

If there’s one thing I’ll feel is missing in tonight’s Golden Globes ceremony (even more than an award for best documentary), it’s Jonah Hill‘s name in the supporting actor category. I’ve still not seen a few of the movies represented in that group so I can’t say Hill deserves it more than those nominees, but he is my pick for the best supporting actor of last year and he certainly belongs in the bunch more than Bradley Cooper. The question is whether Hill might earn an Oscar nomination in place of Cooper, or perhaps they’d both be excluded in place of, say, James Gandolfini. Both Cooper and Hill are actors who started out in comedy who have been recognized once each for their moves into dramatic work and who now are basically back with comedic performances in contention for the Academy Award. And that’s a tough nut to crack. Comedy has always been a tough nut with the Oscars in general. It’s not ignored, not at all, definitely not as much as some would think, but it is true that what slips through is mostly hybrid movies, dramas with a good helping of comedy or drier comedies that have some dramatic elements. More common, actually, is comedic performances, especially in the supporting acting categories. That’s where we tend to find traditionally comedic talents earning nominations and often awards for providing the comic relief in a drama. Think Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost, Octavia Spencer in The Help and Alan Arkin in […]

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the wolf of wall street bottom line

The Wolf of Wall Street is a big, sprawling, tragi-comedy about very bad people doing very bad things. Some are legal and some aren’t, but they’re all guaranteed to offend someone somewhere. One viewer at the AMPAS screening in L.A. actually confronted director Martin Scorsese with a “Shame on you!” and a finger wag. Ornery octogenarians aside, the film has received a generally favorable response with praise for the film’s high energy and performances from the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, and Matthew McConaughey. But in addition to the reviews, both positive and negative, there have also been a handful of specific (and occasionally accusatory) claims made against the movie and filmmakers that lack much in the way of critical thinking. For example, The Wolf of Wall Street…

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wows12

Martin Scorsese is one of the best directors to work for if you want an Oscar nomination for acting. Over the past 40 years, he has helped his stars earn a total of 20 nominations spread out over the performance categories, and you may be surprised to hear that half of those went to women. Yes, the filmmaker who has occasionally been accused of being a misogynist and who tends to make movies led by men (often undoubtedly misogynistic men), is pretty good at finding strong actresses for his leading ladies — or he’s good at making them appear to be very talented, whether they are or not. Margot Robbie, who plays the dynamic trophy wife of Leonardo DiCaprio’s scumbag stock broker in The Wolf of Wall Street, ought to be the next in line in this tradition, and yet she’s not being talked about for an Academy Award at all. Robbie’s performance in the movie is one of the standouts of the year for me, though I have to admit this is partly because I’d never heard of nor seen her before. The actress isn’t quite as out of nowhere as 12 Years a Slave breakout Lupita Nyong’o (pretty much a sure thing for the supporting actress win at this point), especially if you’re a fan of the Australian soap opera Neighbours or if you gave the American TV drama Pan Am a shot, but she is a fresh face in Hollywood, and between WoWS and About Time she’s […]

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review wolf of wall street

Common wisdom says that money can’t buy happiness, but common wisdom never spooned cocaine into a flexible young woman’s anus. Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) knows better than that, and he also knows that power, expensive things, drugs, women, and drugs inserted in women are all for the taking when you have money. He heads to Wall Street, and after a quick business lunch with a mentor (Matthew McConaughey) he sets about building an investment firm complete with a team of driven, egotistical but slavish pricks shaped in his own image. His best and brightest employee is Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), and together they build an empire built on penny stock commissions, ersatz testosterone, and the broken dreams of lower to middle class Americans. Despite affectations of friendship, simulations of love, and words of confidence from the man’s own mouth, Belfort cares for no one but himself. His climb to the top (or just as correct, to the bottom) comes with hundreds of willing and thousands of unknowing Sherpas, but only he knows it’s a one-man venture. Welcome to one of the year’s best comedies. Welcome to Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street.

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2013review_performances

Christian Bale, Sanda Bullock, Joaquin Phoenix, Oscar Isaac, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Michael Fassbender, and Meryl Steep, because she’s Meryl Streep, have all had heaps of praise thrown their way this year by both fans and critics. They’ll continue to see even more acclaim in 2014 and beyond, but with all those fantastic movie star performances, not all of 2013’s best have gotten the attention they deserve. That happens most every year, of course. Only so many performances can be nominated for statuettes. After all, even after listing these 13, another 13 could have easily followed (it was a good year). In that spirit, hopefully you’ll share your picks in the comments section, but for now, here are 13 performances from 2013 not to forget when someone else is being played off stage for making their acceptance speech too long.

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cc gangs of new york

Gangs of New York was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and yet, I still can’t shake the feeling that Martin Scorsese‘s revenge epic has been overlooked. With a filmograpyy as refined as Scorsese’s, a few gems are bound to go unnoticed, but even at the time of its release many were split by the film. It wasn’t a domestic box-office hit, scored a modest 75% on Rottentomatoes, and, from what I can recall, most people I knew weren’t a fan Scorsese’s impressionistic period piece. That’s a pity, because this fictional tale of Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) seeking revenge on the man who killed his father, Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), is one of Scorsese’s most thrilling and hypnotic films. Even if you found the acclaimed director’s untraditional approach to period distancing, you can’t dismiss it has one of the finest pieces of acting ever put on film courtesy of Day-Lewis. He was so magnificent in a supporting role that the Academy instead nominated him for best actor, but it’s well earned since he is Gangs of New York. Technically speaking the movie is stunning, from the sets to the editing to the you name it, but when Gangs of New York fans start talking, it’s Day-Lewis’ towering performance that usually dominates the conversation.

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The Wolf of Wall Street

Perhaps you’ve heard by now that Martin Scorsese‘s highly anticipated The Wolf of Wall Street is (finally) set to hit theaters on Christmas Day after persistent chatter that the film could be pushed all the way until sometime next year, making it the most gaudy and bonkers gift most of us are likely to recieve this holiday season. But the film’s official new release date also comes with word on the film’s runtime – an intersting bit of trivia, considering its delays were reportedly rooted in the studio’s need for Scorsese to chop down its original 180-minute cut – that now clocks in at a heady 165 minutes. The film’s fresh runtime is already getting plenty of buzz on the Internet – most people seem jazzed about so much madness and Leonardo DiCaprio dancing and toasting to enjoy, but a few people are already blowing raspberries about such length (what’s wrong with you?!), so we felt it was time to investigate how the true-life tale stacks up against both other Scorsese films and some other 2013 releases. The answer may surprise you (hint: it’s in our headline).

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marwencol miniature

Jeff Malmberg’s 2010 documentary Marwencol is one of the most interesting, immersive nonfiction stories that has been put together in the past few years. If it was just about a guy who was beat so bad by a group of drunk young men that he had to figure out a way to piece his fractured mind back together afterward, it probably would have been interesting enough. If it was just about a grown man who was so good at playing with dolls that the pictures he took of the little scenarios he concocted with them eventually got put into art galleries, it probably would have been interesting enough. But Marwencol combines both these stories and other layers that shouldn’t be given away to create a moviegoing experience that’s sometimes unsettling, often strangely comforting, but always rich. It’s kind of like movie lasagna. The subject of the film is a man named Mark Hogancamp, who was the victim of the aforementioned beating, and who dealt with his trauma by creating and photographing the aforementioned doll world. To be more specific, Hogancamp took the people and places he knew, and he recreated them through the lens of a fictional World War II-era Belgian town called Marwencol that was known for its bounty of friendly hookers, the brutality of its SS raids, and the blue-haired, time traveling witch named Deja Thoris who called it home. All of that sounds pretty weird, right? That’s why Robert Zemeckis thinks it’s the perfect material to tackle […]

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hubble3d

“This is not a documentary,” Alfonso Cuaron said of his new movie Gravity to CollectSpace.com. No kidding. Nobody in a documentary talks the way George Clooney and Sandra Bullock do in this spectacular yet sometimes silly space-set thriller. But I’d love for it to be a gateway to some great documentaries about astronauts and NASA missions and the like, so I’ve compiled a list of favorites that are relevant to the plot. Sure, I could have opened this week’s Movies to Watch list to fiction films, too, but there is less need for me to highlight obvious movies like Apollo 13 and Space Buddies. Also, I’d like to use this opportunity to give a shout out to Dan Schindel’s Doc Option column over at our sister site Nonfics. This week he chose to recommend two true stories for your listening pleasure that relate to Gravity because they involve spacewalks gone wrong. Since he (cleverly) didn’t go with one of the docs I’d have picked, now I get to list them all below.

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Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio must be one hell of a speed reader (or he used his charms to nab himself an advanced copy), because he announced today that he will be producing an adaptation of a Woodrow Wilson biography that just hit bookstores last week. DiCaprio will also star as the 28th president in the adaptation of A. Scott Berg‘s “Wilson,” which he is producing with his Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Berg. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the biography is a bit on the positive side, emphasizing Wilson’s progressive achievements (like creating the Federal Reserve! Supporting the League of Nations!) while brushing much of the more…unsavory…parts of his presidency to the side. Like his shaky at best stance on civil liberties. So this might not be the most well-rounded biopic. Can’t you just hear the soaring music in the trailer already?

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The Wolf of Wall Street

While the trailer for Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street painted a wild world of excess and debauchery, the new stills from the film are only showing a tame little piece of the bigger puzzle. Granted, you’ve still got Leonardo DiCaprio living it up, white guy stockbroker style, but the cash-flinging, womanizing, partying, and domination seen in the trailer (which our own Scott Beggs wrote about here) are replaced by images that depict the business side of the affair. Wall Street before wolfishness? But come on – you know as soon as DiCaprio finishes raising his glass on that classy-as-hell yacht, he’s about to either A) have sex with Margot Robbie B) fling cash at poor people C) snort coke? That’s what rich people do on yachts, right? or D) get into classy fisticuffs. It’s like it’s all just out of reach for us. Hopefully, more stills will appear soon that will better match the tone of the trailer so I can look as excited as Jonah Hill does in that second shot. Take a look:

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Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio is so dang pretty that he had to get quite a few years into his career before he could believably play an adult, let alone a physically imposing adult. Recently though, in things like, say, Shutter Island and Django Unchained, he’s really come into his own as a manly man. What’s the next logical step in this development? To play a Viking warlord, of course. Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. and DiCaprio’s own Appian Way are looking to set up a project called King Harald, which is being thought of as a potential starring vehicle for the actor, and which he’s certainly going to at least get a producing credit on.

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Iron Man Extended Look

Today in life imitating art news, Robert Downey Jr. is one step closer to becoming an actual genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist. Forbes has released their annual list of Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Actors, and the Iron Man star comes in at a firm number one, having made $75m between June 2012 and June 2013. There is no contesting that Downey Jr. is box office gold. He has starred in six films that have all grossed over $500m, and The Avengers and Iron Man 3 both earned over $1b during their runs. The Avengers, the third-highest grossing movie of all time, featured Downey Jr. once more in his beloved Tony Stark role – and it’s easy to argue that he stole many a scene throughout the blockbuster.

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