Time and time again, Leonardo DiCaprio pulls that magic rabbit out of his hat and lands a role that's sure to impress critics and viewers alike. Yet every time it looks like he's poised to win an Oscar, it seems to slide out of his grasp as quickly. Right now's about the time an actor decides to stop playing the game and start taking the interesting projects, the films they have a passion to make. Sure enough, it looks like DiCaprio's lining up that exact opportunity as we speak, and as usual, it's something that looks like it's an awards season draw. Which is good, considering DiCaprio has wanted to play this role for 20 years.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that DiCaprio is helping bring new life to The Crowded Room, a project that covers, "the first person to successfully use multiple personality disorder as a defense in a court of law." Leonardo DiCaprio is going to produce the film, as well as star in the lead role of Billy Milligan – a man who was arrested for everything from armed robbery to rape, and allegedly was committing these crimes at the behest of his multiple personalities. The project has been trying to make its way to the big screen for some time now, and with this new movement in the pipeline, it looks like its day has finally come.
Already The Crowded Room has several factors working in its favor: for starters, it's a period piece, as the court case takes place in the 1970s, which covers the historical angle most Oscar voters love to indulge in. Also, the film covers a pressing social issue of multiple personalities and the formerly deplorable conditions mental hospitals would treat their patients. But the kicker that puts this film into Oscar Bingo victory is, obviously, the involvement of DiCaprio himself; because while the Academy hasn't rewarded him for his acting efforts just yet, they still love to see him on the big screen.
Which, naturally, raises the natural question that comes up when Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar walk into the same room: could Leo win for The Crowded Room? Well, that would have been an easy question to answer if Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Birdman, Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance didn't win big at the Oscars last weekend. With Inarritu and his previous film scoring golden mantle fodder, they may not be as generous next year if The Revenant manages to score Oscar recognition of its own. However, they might just give the trophy to DiCaprio in the Best Actor category, as the public has been clamoring for him to win one for some time now.
The Academy wants to be liked, and if they give DiCaprio an Oscar, they might feel the public will forgive them their previous snubs. If The Revenant honors DiCaprio, then The Crowded Room might not be so lucky when its turn at bat arrives. Then again, Michael Keaton might have something to say about the chances of winning a Best Actor trophy for an Inarritu performance. Awards attention or not, The Crowded Room sounds like a role that Leonardo DiCaprio can sink his trademark teeth into, which is always a cause for celebration.
The Revenant will be in limited release on December 25th, with a wide release slated for January 8th, 2016.