Leonardo DiCaprio kept his composure after failing to win the Academy Award for lead actor for his performance in "The Wolf of Wall Street" on Sunday night, which marked his fourth loss in as many attempts at an acting Oscar. Moments after "Dallas Buyers Club" star Matthew McConaughey was declared the victor, the telecast cut to a reaction shot of DiCaprio, who looked a bit wistful but played it cool, graciously hugging McConaughey and kissing him on the cheek.
DiCaprio's fans and supporters, however, were not so magnanimous, taking to Twitter to voice their displeasure. Two hashtags immediately sprung up and began trending: #PoorLeo and #GiveLeoAnOscar, both of which frequently accompanied screen captures of DiCaprio looking sad or thwarted in his various films, punctuated by snarky captions.
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One viral image taken from a scene in "Wolf" shows DiCaprio and McConaughey, who has a small part in the film, seated across from each other at a restaurant. "Don't worry Leo, you'll get one next time," the caption reads. The second half of the image is a reaction shot of DiCaprio's dejected countenance.
Another Photoshop job superimposed the body of an Oscar statuette over actress Margot Robbie in another "Wolf" scene in which she has her foot planted squarely in DiCaprio's face. The message, it seems, is "No."
Yet another screen capture, this one portraying a screaming DiCaprio from "Shutter Island," added the caption "I wasn't even in the selfie," a reference to Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres' star-studded cellphone photo that temporarily sidelined Twitter with its surging popularity.
DiCaprio has been nominated for five Oscars in all, the first coming 20 years ago for his supporting role in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape." He was also nominated for his lead roles in "The Aviator" in 2005 and "Blood Diamond" in 2007. In addition to his acting nod for "Wolf," he was nominated as a producer of that film in the race for best picture. Each time, he has come away empty-handed.
Although some awards pundits asserted that DiCaprio had been gaining momentum in recent weeks for his portrayal of the shady stockbroker Jordan Belfort in "Wolf," McConaughey had been considered the frontrunner in this year's lead-actor race for some time, for his performance as the real-life Texas electrician and AIDS activist Ron Woodroof.
But for diehard DiCaprio fans and moviegoers who don't follow all the twists, turns and tea-leaf-reading of awards season, the fact that one of the biggest movie stars in the world continues to get shut out on Hollywood's biggest stage seemed to come as a legitimate surprise.
Less surprising was the emergence of one more hashtag: #NextTimeLeo.