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Top of the World: 9 Leo DiCaprio Films

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Just… too adorable ahah ❤

Today, one of my very favourite modern actors, the one and only Leonardo DiCaprio, turned 42! Young and still full of talents!

For the occasion, I’m presenting you my top 9 of my favourite movies of his! Why 9? Sounds a bit odd I know, but the simple reason is that I’ve seen 11 of his films, and there’s two of them that I didn’t really like, so I don’t see the use of including them in the top! It was The Revenant and The Great Gatsby. Leo is not the reasons why I didn’t like those movies! More like just the movie itself…

Of course, these are my personal choices and just list my own favourites. 🙂 Don’t hesitate to share your choices with me!

Ok, here we go:

9. The Departed (Martin Scorsese, 2006)

Quite a cast.

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8. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

Not sure I understood everything, but despite that I liked it!

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7. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)

A bit long and a bit too much, but overall I appreciated it.

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6. Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

Weird film, but one you don’t forget!

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5. Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012)

Normally not a fan of Tarantino’s films, but I exceptionally loved this one. Leo is delightfully evil!

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4. Catch Me if You Can (Steven Spielberg, 2002)

Gotta love Spielberg 🙂

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3. The Aviator (Martin Scorsese, 2004)

IMHO, what the best DiCaprio-Scorsese’s collaboration

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2. Titanic (James Cameron, 1997)

Well, a  Leo DiCaprio’s top without this guilty pleasure wouldn’t be a real one. Anyway, I love this film, find it entertaining and Jack is such a cool character 🙂

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  1. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape! (Lasse Hallström, 1993)

I think it’s for this film or The Aviator that Leo should have won his first Oscar! Gilbert Grape is a delightful film. Love it.

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Hope you appreciated the top!

Happy birthday Leo! 🙂

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ever-after

The Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon: Ever After

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Today, I’m participating to The Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon, the very first blogathon hosted by In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood, one of the best blogs about classic films. How exciting is that! 😀 We all know that the Barrymore family was a notorious family of actors on many generations, with actors such as Ethel Barrymore, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, John Drew Barrymore, Diana Barrymore, John Blyth Barrymore and, of course, Drew Barrymore. I can’t say I know the Barrymores very well, because I haven’t seen many of her films, but from what I’ve seen, I agree they are great actors. However, I still have to see some John Barrymore films… Twentieth Century is definitely on my list. Well, for this blogathon, I’ve decided to talk about a Drew Barrymore film: Ever After (Andy Tennant, 1998). I remember, first time I saw this film I wasn’t too much enthusiast about it, but I saw it a second time, a long time ago after, and appreciated it. It’s very simple, it’s an improved version of Cinderella.

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The story takes place in France during the 16th century. Danielle de Barbarac (Drew Barrymore) is a young girl who has never known her mother as this one died when Danielle was very young. She since lives with her father (Jeoren Krabbé) that she loves very much. This one is about to get married to the Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent (Anjelica Huston). This one has two daughters: the blond Marguerite (Megan Dodds) and the brunette Jacqueline (Melanie Lynskey). Danielle is very excited about having a new mother and new sisters. One day, her father has to go to  another town for business. When he’s just leaving the house on his horse, he has a heart attack and dies. Poor Danielle is now an orphan and the Baroness is now a widow. The years go by and Danielle has now become a beautiful young woman. Unfortunately, who soon discover that she is poorly treated by her stepmother, the baroness, and her step-sister Marguerite who had made a maid of her. They call her Cinderella. So, day and night, she has to obey those two jealous women’s orders and do everything for them. Danielle wants desperately to be loved by her step mother and tries to do everything to please her, but in vain. Fortunately, others servants of the house are on her side and Jacqueline is also compassionate, unlike her sister Marguerite.

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One day, Danielle accidentally attacks the Prince Henry (Dougray Scott), son of the king Francis (Timothy West) and the Queen Mary (Judy Parfitt), who has escaped from the castle because his parents want him to marry a girl he doesn’t know and doesn’t love. Not a long time after, Danielle has to go in town to save Maurice ( Walter Sparrow), an old servant from her house who is about to be deported in America. She then disguises herself into a noble lady and go to the royal court. She convinces the prince to give freedom to Maurice. The prince has not recognize her and wonder who she is. She lies and tells him that she is the countess Nicole de Lancret (that really was her mother). The prince and Danielle will spent time together and eventually fell in love with each others, but that’s not without problem as Danielle really is a maid, not a countess, and the baroness desperately wants to marry Marguerite to the prince… Fortunately, Danielle’s friends, including Leonard de Vinci ( Patrick Godfrey) (yes yes!) will always be there to help her.

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So, I said that this was an improved version of Cinderella. Why? Because it’s more realistic. Of course, it remains a movie, but there is no magic in this film and Danielle and the prince don’t fall in love with each other only after the first time they met. Remember, in Disney’s Cinderella, she goes to the ball, dances with the prince. She falls in love with him. Ok, love at first sight is possible, but then they marry each other not a long time after. That’s less realistic. But don’t get me wrong, despite that, I love Disney’s Cinderella! There’s nothing wrong with fantasy! 😉 Of course, Ever After is a good film. I won’t say it’s a great film, because that would be too much, but it’s a good one. However, like every Cinderella‘s adaptation it remains a little cheesy, but not as much as A Cinderella Story with Hilary Duff for example.

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This is also a worth watching film if you like Drew Barrymore. I haven’t seen many of her films, but this one really made me like her. She really is a dear as Danielle de Barbarac. She plays with a real softness and a great sensibility. She is, of course, very beautiful and very lovable in this film. We certainly don’t want bad things to happen to her. Anjelica Huston is perfect as the stepmother. She has the great physic for this and knows perfectly how to play a character we love to hate. Of course, we don’t hate Anjelica herself! In my opinion, the other great actor in this film is Patrick Godfrey as Leonard de Vinci. Leonard is one of my favourite characters of the film. Of course, the way he is presented in the films is not historically perfect, but he remains an appreciated character. He is really funny and is present in some of the best scenes of the film.

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But let’s get back to Drew as this is a Barrymore Blogathon. When this film was released, Drew Barrymore was still a young actress. She only was 23 years old. We know that Drew Barrymore didn’t have a very happy childhood. She discovered drugs and alcohol at a very young age and tried to kill herself when she was 17th. She describes this dark part of her life in her autobiography The Little Lost Girl. Of course, we are happy that sweet Drew is still with us today. She started her career in 1982 in Spielberg’s E.T as Gertie, the little sister. She was only 7 at the time and was already able to prove that she was a good actress. Except for E.T, in the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, she starred in a series of not too well remembered films. She makes her come back in the middle of the 90s with movies like Scream, Batman Forever and, of course, Ever After. Drew Barrymore is also well known for having starred in Charlie’s Angels (2000). Drew Barrymore never received an Oscar, but she received many awards, including some for her brilliant performance in Ever After: The Kid’s Choice Award, The Saturn Award and The Blockbuster Entertainment Award. Those were certainly well deserved.

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Drew Barrymore had the chance to wear some very beautiful costumes when she starred in this film. Of course, the most beautiful dress is the one she wears during the famous ball scene. A dress that belonged to her mother the real Nicole de Lancret. She, of course, also wears the famous glass slippers in this scene. However, she will have to run away from the castle, but not for the same reasons as The Grimm brothers’ Cinderella. No magic pumpkin or good fairy in this film!

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Well, I was happy to participate to this blogathon. If you want to see a good Cinderella’s adaptation, I highly recommend you to watch Ever After. I’m sure you will also appreciate Drew Barrymore’s beautiful presence. With a family like hers, she can’t be nothing but a good actress.

Don’t forget to read the other entries for the blogathon:

The Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon

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Coming Soon: The Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon

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I’m so glad to participate to The Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon, the very first blogathon hosted by Crystal from In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood! The event will take place on August 12th to August 15th 2015 for the occasion of Ethel Barrymore’s birthday.

The Barrymore was a notorious family of actors and stage actors: the three siblings John, Lionel and Ethel , children of Maurice Barrymore and Georgianna Emma Drew (both stage actors); John Drew Barrymore and Diana Barrymore, children of John Barrymore; John Blyth Barrymore and Drew Barrymore, children of John Drew Barrymore.

For the blogathon, I’ve decided to honour Drew Barrymore and write about a more modern film, which is quite rare on this blog. Ever After, a beautiful movie based on Cinderella’s story, will be the film I’ll write about.

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If you wish to celebrate de Barrymore just like me and write an article, I invite you to read the informations on Crystal’s blog:

The Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon

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Leonardo DiCaprio

31 Days of Oscar Blogathon 2015 (week 2: Oscar Snubs): Leonardo DiCaprio deserves an Oscar

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When he was about 19, Leonardo DiCaprio received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as a 17-18 years old boy suffering of Asperger’s syndrome in the movie What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Lasse Hallström, 1993). Eleven years later, he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for his stunning performance as Howard Hughes in The Aviator (Martin Scorsese, 2004). Leonardo DiCaprio received a total of four Oscar’s nominations (the two other ones were for Blood Diamond and The Woolf of Wall Street), but he never won a single one. For the occasion of the second week of The 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon 2015: Oscar Snubs, I’ll try to explain to you why DiCaprio, who is an actor I adore, should have won an Oscar or should win one. For this, I’ll focus my text on his performances in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and The Aviator.

Playing the part of someone with a mental disease like in Gilbert Grape and The Aviator is never something easy. Actors have to be well prepared to be convincing. Leonardo DiCaprio explained how he prepared himself to play to part of Arnie Grape in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape: “I had to really research to get into the mind of somebody like that. I spent a few days at a home for mentally retarded teens. We just talked and I watched their mannerisms. People have these expectations that mentally retarded children are really crazy, but that isn’t so. It’s refreshing to see them because everything’s so new to them.” (Leonardo DiCaprio). So we can see that it was a role he took seriously, because he decided to prepare himself for it. The result was, of course, unforgettable and we perfectly understand why he received this Oscar nomination. DiCaprio also chose to prepare himself well for the role of Howard Hughes in The Aviator. For that, IMDB informs us that he spent a day with Jane Russell to hear her memories and impressions of Howard Hughes. Remember, Jane Russell starred in the movie The Outlaw directed by Howard Huges. IMDB also informs us that Leonardo DiCaprio spent some time with an actual OCD patient named Edward. One more time, he was well prepared and gave us a wonderful performance. Leonardo DiCaprio also said: “portraying emotionally ill characters gives me the chance to really act.” That was a chance for him to prove that he was a great actor and he succeed.

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Arnie Grape and Howard Hughes are two persons having a mental disease, but they are also two very different persons. One is so endearing and the other one is so crazy, but not in the good way. One is full of life, the other one is unrealistic. One as a great complicity with his big brother, the other one is full of secrets. Yes, these are two very different characters and this is something that shows perfectly DiCaprio’s versatility. Of course, these are not the only movies that show his versatility. He is a nice and brilliant man in Titanic or a truly awful person in Django Unchained. Honestly, I was never disappointed by a Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance. Some were better than some others, that’s sure, but I never saw (well, for the moment) a performance of him that deserved a Razzie Award! However, the first DiCaprio’s film I saw that really amazed me (and my mother) was Catch Me If You Can, directed in 2002 by the King of Entertainment, the one and only Steven Spielberg. I remember watching it with my mother on our very small TV at our country house and after that we were like “Oh he is such a great actor!”

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But let’s get back to What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and The Aviator. What amazed me in these performances is all the moves, the gestures, the tics that DiCaprio did to make his characters true and alive. Arnie Grape and Howard Hughes are two very physical characters. Some movie characters are alive only with their voice and the actor’s charisma, but that can’t be the case for Howard Hughes and Arnie Grape and that’s something DiCaprio understood perfectly. With Howard Hughes, the eye movements are very important. We can see that in the moment when DiCaprio blinks because he feels assaulted by the flash of the cameras. The hand moves become also important because they show the nervosity of this character. The hands moves are also important for the character of Arnie Grape because it’s a way for him to express himself. If you remember in the movie, Arnie Grape sometimes makes this move, flicking his finger against his nose. That was a gesture created by DiCaprio himself. He explained that this was like a “brain wipe… like Arnie is massaging the inside of his brain.” There, we can see that the actor doesn’t only know how to act, but also how to develop his acting and the characters he plays. He can go ahead of what he already knows. About The Aviator, I love the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio can express his emotions sometimes only through his gaze or his face moves. This is something full of subtlety that not everybody can do. Some actors just exaggerate this acting aspect, but I don’t feel like it was the case for DiCaprio in The Aviator.

The voice and the way of speaking an actor chooses for his character is also something important because that shows another aspect of the character’s personality. For Arnie Grape, Leonardo DiCaprio has to talk like a five year old boy and for The Aviator, well, was he speaking with Howard Hughes voice? Well, anyway, he used a voice that fits perfectly the character and that shows his eccentricity. On another subject, something about acting that his very important for me is the chemistry between the actors. Of course, I love that when it’s a good chemistry. For What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, I felt like DiCaprio as a truly great chemistry with the leading actor Johnny Depp, but also with Juliette Lewis. For The Aviator, I felt like he has a great complicity with Cate Blanchett. Well, did they really have a great chemistry in real life? I’ve heard in an interview about Gilbert Grape that Depp and DiCaprio enjoyed working together. For The Aviator, well, he confirmed that Cate Blanchett was the perfect actress to play the part of Katharine Hepburn.

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Leonardo DiCaprio’s performances for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and The Aviator amazed me for two different reasons: for the first film it was because he was capable to make his character so endearing and also because it was something so different from what I’ve seen of him before. For the second one, it was because he knew how to make his character so fascinating. He played both characters with such serious and energy and he was very convincing for both performances. I would have like to see him win an Oscar for one of his performances. I think he deserves one and I hope we won’t have to wait 20 years for that. Well, I once read on the web Leonardo’s answer to people like me, who want to see him win an Oscar. He explains that he was an actor because he like this profession and not for winning an Oscar. That’s not his first objective. I also felt like he is not the type of person to be jealous. When he lost is Aviator’s Oscar to Jamie Foxx in 2005, he simply said that he wasn’t surprised by that. He accepted the fact that he didn’t win and that’s something wise.

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I haven’t seen all Leonardo DiCaprio’s films, but I can’t wait to see more. So far, the ones I have seen are Titanic, Catch Me If You Can, The Great Gatsby (I didn’t really like the film, but DiCaprio’s performance was great), Inception, The Aviator, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Django Unchained, Shutter Island and The Departed. I think next one will be The Woolf of Wall Street. I would like to finish this text by revealing you Leonardo DiCaprio’s ten favorite films, because the man loves classics just like me! These are: The Bicycle Thief, Taxi Driver, Lawrence of Arabia, 8 ½, The Third Man, Yojimbo, Sunset Boulevard, Shining and East of Eden. Sunset Boulevard is also one of my favorite 10 movies. J That was a great fun to talk about a more contemporary actor. It was something different for my blog!

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