He’s a five-time acting nominee, and his production credit on Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” gives Leonardo DiCaprio one more nod. With his entry into this year’s best-actor race, he now has seven nominations in all — and not a win among them. That’s odd considering that DiCaprio is not only a major box-office draw but a serious and well-regarded actor. Could this be the year he finally gets his due? Here’s how the best-actor race breaks down:
BRYAN CRANSTON, “Trumbo.” The 59-year-old actor had been in the business for years before landing the role that made him famous, the meth-making high-school teacher Walter White on AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” Playing the blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, he received a flood of critical acclaim and a Screen Actors Guild award.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO, “The Revenant.” As the real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass, who survived a grizzly bear attack and came looking for the men who left him for dead, DiCaprio does more screaming than talking in “The Revenant.” After all his Oscar-nominated performances — in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” “The Aviator” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” — this looks like the one that finally will earn him the gold.
MATT DAMON, “The Martian.” As Mark Watney, an astronaut stranded on Mars, Damon carried this sci-fi film almost single-handedly (no disrespect to co-stars Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels and Michael Peña). The film proved a critical and commercial hit, and Damon picked up a Golden Globe in the comedy category, but an Oscar wins seems unlikely.
EDDIE REDMAYNE, “The Danish Girl.” At one point, this film looked like our next big winner: The transgender storyline seemed topical, Redmayne had just won an Oscar (for “The Theory of Everything”) and director Tom Hooper owned one, too (for “The King’s Speech”). The film earned respectful reviews and became a solid performer but never quite got that Oscar glow.
MICHAEL FASSBENDER, “Steve Jobs.” With a not-quite-star in the title role and a strangely limited release schedule, this biopic falls into the traditional category of Movies Only Oscar Voters Saw. Despite its pedigree — directed by Danny Boyle, written by Aaron Sorkin — it barely broke even at the box office. The nomination for Fassbender in the title role is a nice feather in the film’s cap.