Nobody is safe from the scourge of the woke-scolds. Not even climate change activist Leonardo DiCaprio, who has now been taken to task for not working with more female directors.
In response to a glowing profile in The Hollywood Reporter that hailed the “Titanic” actor as “the last movie star” in preparation for the upcoming release of “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood” — his second collaboration with director Quentin Tarantino — film critic Guy Lodge of The Guardian and Variety blasted DiCaprio on Twitter for not working with a single woman director since 1995’s “Total Eclipse.”
“This is all well and good, and some fine work has come out of it, but I wouldn’t call his choices adventurous either: huge studio prestige productions with established male directors,” Lodge wrote on Twitter, according to Indiewire. “He hasn’t acted in a film with a female director since 1995, which I don’t think is an insignificant fact … I like that he’s choosy, and resistant to franchise fodder: he’s played his career well. But at this level of stardom, he has the clout to get riskier ideas (and talents) off the ground.”
Shortly thereafter, other critics and journalists joined right in on the woke roast, as if Leo DiCaprio has some big obligation to act in a movie simply because it is directed by a woman.
“He is the safest actor in Hollywood,” said ScreenRant and Pajiba writer Kayleigh Donaldson. “Not that many major American names on his level truly take risky or dangerous roles, but I wouldn’t say he risks much working consistently with Scorsese, QT, Inarritu, etc.”
Leonardo DiCaprio’s career since 1997 has been carried off the backs of top-level directors, starting with James Cameron in “Titanic.” For a few years, however, between 1997 and 2002, the actor went through a difficult lull period that he did not recover from until starring in Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can” and then Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York.” Since then, he has almost consistently worked with top creative talents, including Christopher Nolan and Clint Eastwood.
Actress and writer Zoe Kazan (“The Big Sick”) later got in on the criticism when she criticized actresses for committing the same sins as Leo.
“Yes, there are more male filmmakers out there, especially ones being handed a mantle of power,” Kazan wrote on Twitter. “But given how many female directors I’ve worked with in my relatively short career, it seems like a real choice so many of these male movie stars have made, not to work with any/many.”
“The reason this matters is that there are only a handful of movie stars who can get a film of a certain budget financed. So how they use their power, whose stories they get behind … it has an impact on what ends up on the screen,” she continued.
“Once Upon a Time In Hollywood” will be opening nationwide on Friday and is tracking for a $40 million debut, an incredible feat for a nearly 3 hour R-rated movie centered around the Manson murder. Currently, the film has a certified fresh rating at Rotten Tomates of 89%.