Leonardo DiCaprio Comments on 'Inception' Winning Streak
As the letters "INCEPTION" eerily floated in the azure hilltop pool rippled by chill wind at Tuesday's party to promote the film, star Leonardo DiCaprio cheerily chatted about it.
The National Board of Review named it a top 10 film this week, and it dominated the Satellite Award noms. It's No. 3 for best picture and director and No. 2 for screenplay on the Gurus o'Gold poll. In October, 260,000 voters gave it Yahoo! Movies' Hollywood Movie Award, and Spike TV gave it The Ultimate Scream Award. I asked Leo how he felt about the film's winning the Amazon.com Trifecta -- voted No. 1 best picture by Amazon's DVD, Blu-Ray and IMDb editors.
With the wry smile of one whose asking price is 2,500 times the cost of my car, Leo said he doesn't fret about such things. His attitude toward his movies was like rocket scientist Werner von Braun in Tom Lehrer's song: "I send zem up, who knows vhere zey come down? Zat's not my department, says Werner von Braun."
He didn't sing the song. Instead, he said, "At this time of the year, I just leave it in the hands of the gods."
He pointed out that you can't strategize everything in the movie biz the way we journos are always theorizing. Take Shutter Island, which famously got bumped from October 2009 to 2010, commercially won its weekend in February and earned Leo a Teen Choice Award (and costar Michelle Williams a nom, which maybe helps her a teensy trifle with her NC-17-afflicted (or NC-17-enhanced) Oscar hopeful Blue Valentine.
"We waited 2 1/2 years on that," said Leo. He had no idea it would be out the same time as Inception, giving him a high culture/pulp culture one-two punch for the year.
Sometimes bad news is actually good news, as Entertainment Weekly film critic Owen Gleiberman argued about the apparently calamitous Shutter Island delay, which turned out to be a $40 million boon, "a marketing masterstroke." Or maybe it was just the will of the gods.
If I were Leo, I too would ignore the awards groups and keep letting the gods guide his career.
(Follow my Race Tweets @timappelo)
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Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter, is one of the entertainment industry's most experienced and trusted experts about the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys. He started on the awards beat in 2001, writing for independent websites including his own ScottFeinberg.com before joining the Los Angeles Times and then THR, for which he writes “The Race” blog, which won the LA Press Club’s National Entertainment Journalism Award for best entertainment blog of 2012-2013. A voting member of both the Broadcast Film Critics' Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association, he is also writing a book about film history for young people for which he has interviewed more than 500 high-profile Hollywood figures whose careers span the silent era through the present.
Follow Scott on Twitter at twitter.com/scottfeinberg.