BY ASHLEY KOWALEWSKI
With the release of Quentin Tarantino’s highly anticipated Django Unchained, we’re counting down some of the best Leo flicks — and trust me, it wasn’t easy to narrow them down. (I’m imagining it will be even harder when The Great Gatsby comes out next spring, if it doesn’t get pushed back again — seriously, is this movie ever coming out?!)
Leo is the perfect combo of schoolboy cute and cunning mastermind, and always seems to play the perfect heartthrob/instigator/finagler. Here are our top five — er, six — Leo flicks:
5. WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE (1993)
This classic is one of the first movies that put Leo on the map as a feature film actor. It was his role as the mentally disabled Arnie Grape that gave the 19-year-old a (real) name and would spark a two-decade-long streak of stellar performances.
4. ROMEO + JULIET (1996)
You can’t have a countdown of Leo movies without this on the docket. It’s one of my absolute fave ’90s flicks, Leo’s interpretation of Romeo is just too swoon-worthy to pass up, and the modern-day Verona backdrop just makes it that much better.
3. INCEPTION (2010) / CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (2002)
I had to combine these two for a couple of reasons: 1) It is impossible for me (former Teen Beat mag purchaser and hanger of Leo posters) to narrow down the five best flicks, and 2) I feel like he plays similar characters in both of these movies. Playing Cobb and Frank Abagnale Jr. respectively, Leo is an imaginative finagler that is mildly melodramatic, and a tad more eccentric.
2. TITANIC (1997)
Yes, this is one arguably one of the best love stories of all time. But no, it didn’t make No. 1 in my books. While Leo plays amazing bad boy Jack to Kate Winslet’s society-bred Rose, and it is the second-highest-grossing film ever, it’s just not Leo’s best.
1. THE BEACH (2000)
This is, hands down, one of my favourite books-to-movies of all time. Leo plays Richard, a curious, hallucinating twentysomething who sets out to find this mysterious Eden-like community on a remote island in Thailand, and starts to go crazy in the process, while wreaking mayhem on the quiet community. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it or read, go do that now.
Ashley Kowalewski is an editorial assistant and freelance writer based in Toronto. She has enough nail polish to last a lifetime, reads too much for her own good, and is hopelessly in love with Matt Damon (and his bad movies, too). Follow her @AshKowalewski.