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25/02/2016 12:01 GMT | Updated 28/02/2016 17:59 GMT

Oscars 2016: Leonardo DiCaprio's Time Is Surely Here - But We've Said That A Few Times Before!

Leonardo DiCaprio must surely be thinking "it's now or never" when it comes to Sunday evening's Oscars ceremony.

The talented actor goes into the event the stand-out favourite for Best Lead Actor, for his uber-committed portrayal of a hunter ravaged by a bear and left for dead in 'The Revenant'. After all his previous efforts, he's gone for a completely unrecognisable disguise of his good looks and scene-stealing monologues in favour of rawness and near-silence. The Academy likes it when its brightest stars give up their looks for glory.

leonardo dicaprio

This is surely Leonardo DiCaprio's big shining Oscar moment - but then, we've said that before

He's already scooped a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for the work, been on a goodwill trip that involved London's cold red carpet and a visit to the Pope, and even rivals including the ever-charming Eddie Redmayne are rooting for him.

Why so? Because this will be Leo's fifth time of donning tuxedo, checking his cuffs, walking the red carpet and making it into the theatre - and on every previous occasion, perfect his losing smile.

It hasn't been for want of effort, either. Two years ago, he left it all on the pitch or, to be accurate, the forecourt of his city dealer's mansion, when he portrayed the loaded but troubled Jordan Belfort in 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'. Nobody could have done a better imitation of a man under the influence of 'Ludes', or given us a glimpse of the despair behind all the dollars. Despite all this, he came up against the reinvented Matthew McConaughey for 'Dallas Buyers' Club' and that was that.

That tour-de-force wasn't the first time, though, that Leo had done everything and more, and still not made it to the trophy table, at least when it comes to the Academy.

The first time was back in 1993, when as a mere stripling, he looked set to steal Best Supporting Actor for 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape'. That time, he was pipped by Tommy Lee Jones for 'The Fugitive', with Academy voters presumably assuming the prodigious actor had plenty of roles, time and future success left in him.

The second occasion in 2004, his veritable tour de force as Howard Hughes in 'The Aviator' got him a Lead Actor nod. But while his co-star Cate Blanchett scooped a gong, Leo was beaten to the post by Jamie Foxx for 'Ray'.

the aviator

Leo in fine form as Howard Hughes in 'The Aviator'

Undeterred, he threw his efforts into 'Blood Diamond', and was rewarded with another nomination in this category. This time, it was his co-star Djimon Hounsou who collected the accolades (National Board of Review, Las Vegas Film Critics Society awards), while Leo had to perfect his Oscar-smiley-loser face in favour of Forest Whitaker for his compelling turn as Idi Amin in 'Last King of Scotland'.

In addition, at 40 years of age, DiCaprio has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award an impressive ten times in all… and only ever taken home two, for his role in 'The Aviator' and this year's.

This, despite being taken under the wing of Martin Scorsese, as a replacement muse of sorts for the much-celebrated Robert De Niro - who rightly won an Oscar, under Marty's steerage, for 'Raging Bull'.

If Leo loses out this year perhaps he needs a rethink... a small, foreign film? Subtitles? Black and white?

Or, perhaps, just perhaps, with a fortune estimated at $200m, the most revered directors in Hollywood on his speed dial, and a long list of Victoria's Secret girlfriends on his arm, a few gaps on the mantelpiece where there might have been a bit of salutary goldenware might not seem so important in the scheme of things. Saves dusting!

Leonardo Decaprio At The Oscars

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