Top 5 Leonardo DiCaprio performances

BY KAELI FRAHN (’15)

“The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013)
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Belfort, a Long Island stockbroker who lives an extravagant life by illegally making millions of dollars. This all becomes threatened when the FBI begins to catch on, but Leonardo won’t go down without a fight.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is a brilliant take on comedy. DiCaprio has hinted before that comedy might be his natural calling, and I think his performance in this movie speaks for itself.

“Inception” (2010)
In “Inception,” DiCaprio plays Cobb, a man who is running from his own past. He’s a skilled thief that is put up to the task to steal corporate secrets held deep within the subconscious which can only be reached through dreams.

If he can pull off the “never before attempted” mission impossible, he is promised a clean conscious and return to his family. Leonardo DiCaprio is no foreigner to confusing plots, and this ambitious science-fiction production is no exception.

“Catch Me If You Can” (2002)
Leonardo successfully plays the role of a 19 year old swindler who profitably impersonates a doctor, airline pilot, and assistant attorney general, making over $2.5 million in counterfeit checks. DiCaprio takes this con-man, which presumably the audience should hate, and makes him endearing even while he is committing crimes.

“Shutter Island” (2012)
U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels is investigating the disappearance of a murderer who escaped from an insane asylum and is presumed to be hiding on the island. DiCaprio’s compelling performance makes us question Teddy as he begins to doubt everything, even his own sanity.

Nothing in this movie is what it seems. We spend two anxiety-filled hours enthralled, constantly wondering what in the world is actually going on. If it were not for DiCaprio’s convincing performance, we’d begin to doubt if we will be left with a satisfying conclusion or not.

“The Great Gatsby” (2013)
“The Great Gatsby” goes back in time to the roaring twenties; the era of flappers and prohibition.

Luhrmann admires Gatsby too much, which is why his movie version misses the whole point of the book. What was originally intended to be a moral accusation of the jazz age by Scott Fitzgerald turned into an embellishment by director Luhrmann, as the parties were made more extravagant and the women more exotic than in the novel.

However, DiCaprio saves the movie by recognizing the brutality and narcissism that motivate Gatsby’s unattainable desires. His performance as self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby effectively takes us back in time and gives us a reason to want to pick up the novel again and is what makes this movie worthwhile.