In Ancient Rome, the Caesar on duty had to decide the future of the gladiators who went out to fight in the arena of the Colosseum with a simple gesture: pointing his thumb up (life) or down (death). There were no half measures and the possibility of a truce, of an intermediate point, was not even considered. In the history of contemporary cinema, few actors have expressed the inordinate greed and insatiable envy that lurked in the hearts of many of these emperors like Joaquin Phoenix . His portrayal of Commodo in Gladiator should be in every acting manual out there, although the Oscar came with Joker–a character a hundred times kinder–.

The boy who grew up in a sect and saw his brother –River Phoenix– die in his arms recognized that he himself had felt that insatiable envy a long time ago, when he started out in the cinema and at every audition the director of casting on duty told him: sorry, we have already chosen someone. A blond boy named DaVinci? DiMaggio? The actor himself told it during an awards ceremony in which Leonardo DiCaprio was of course present , the epicenter of his frustration, who accepted the compliment in his style: half a smile and a sip of champagne.

Art cannot be measured, but DiCaprio’s can. He doesn’t have a bad movie, he doesn’t know what a mediocre performance is, and he even knows the sweetness of unrecognized success, which is the best of all – when the industry doesn’t reward you, but the public gives you everything and wants the best for you. you-. From Jack from Titanic to Jordan from The Wolf of Wall Street , Leonardo has managed not only to maintain the level of fascination for him, or rather his potential as a performer, but has drawn people into movie theaters in the when it was most needed. Martin Scorsese says that looking at his slant-eyed, bird-nosed face implies facing all the conflicts of the human being. Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep, who shared filming with him on the tapeMarvin’s room , they summed it up like this: “My goodness, how handsome he is.”

Hollywood lives in the DW era, that is, after Weinstein. And in the hills of Los Angeles there are few, very few sins that are forgiven. At most they punish themselves and then forget, but during the duration of the martyrdom – which in the times that Twitter manages can be a day or a month – the protagonist of the offense is Lucifer incarnate. It is said that DiCaprio is sinful like few others, although he has somehow managed to keep his private life away from public opinion in some strange way. His gang of friends – which inspired the writers of the series El Entourage – called themselves nothing more and nothing less than The Pussy Posse(something like “the pussy gang”) and during the nineties they destroyed several hotel rooms. Not so long ago, Leo gave a super party on his luxury yacht for his recently divorced friend Tobey Maguire, to which only very young models were invited. And another of her conquests – a model, of course – did not hesitate to report in the media that Leo did not even look at her during the time they were together, that she only vaped and listened to music on her headphones. These stories exist, they are out there, circulating on the internet at the same speed that your main influencer shares his latest purchases. But in case of running into it, he does it like the old Los Angeles detectives: this case to the thinking drawer and we go for the next one.

The curious thing about the DiCaprio case , however, is not that we don’t know what the matter is about –once again, Kate Winslet already said it: “I keep getting older but Leo will be 20 years old all his life”–, it’s that we know, We turn it into a trending topic , we comment on it and criticize it, but we don’t care. That is to say, Leo will premiere his next film tomorrow and the room is packed, and we feel part of his talent by affirming what a good actor he is. He and only he has managed to make us forget that he only maintains relationships with women who are twice his age, to whom he apparently pays little attention and care, and to whom he leaves as soon as they are over twenty-five.. He and only he has achieved what in 2022 seemed impossible: that our opinion about the personal life of a public figure does not interfere with our consideration of his professional value. 

Leonardo DiCaprio’s young girlfriends shouldn’t care, but things are hot, and he’s reversed the trend. Okay, he likes girls, but he’s an environmental activist, we tell ourselves in a last attempt to explain what is of course the result of random reasoning: who we decide to forgive and who not. Who dies and who lives. This one yes and this one no. If we were in the Roman Colosseum, Leonardo DiCaprio would be the only gladiator with the ability to make it difficult for the Caesar on duty. Neither up nor down, the thumb in the center, which they say is the point of virtue.