My love for Leonardo DiCaprio isn't new, but it's reserved for Leo of the 1990s, and when I was completely oblivious to his affinity for cargo shorts. What does that mean to me now? I refuse to acknowledge the bearded, ponytailed dude he is today, and I consider the guy who only hooks up with models to be an absolute myth. This is why I'm qualified to judge his movies and rank them here. This is why my opinion about Leonardo DiCaprio is the most important. This is why, in the words of me, in this moment, I am the person whose sole purpose (right now) is to make this piece my Valentine to him.
So be my Valentine, Leonardo DiCaprio. Rating your movies, rating my love.
1. Romeo + Juliet (1996)
This is where it began for me — for all of us. I was too young for The Basketball Diaries and I didn't really get Gilbert Grape (because again, too young), but enter: this. A movie equal parts beautiful, heartbreaking, and perfect in every way. So perfect, I will add, that I saw it in theatres last year and went home and downloaded the soundtrack and then bought the soundtrack so I could listen to it in my car. This is the most perfect Leonardo DiCaprio movie. Next to, of course . . .
2. Titanic (1997)
I liked a guy who burned down a townhouse in seventh grade because he had the same hair as Leo. This is the power DiCaprio wields. Remember how well he drew Kate? JK: James Cameron drew Kate. And that's a harsh truth we all must learn, I'm sorry.
3. The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)
I can't forgive that long hair, and I refuse to, ever. Not even two DiCaprios can right that wrong, and I'm sorry.
4. Celebrity (1998)
I wasn't allowed to see this movie, so I never saw this movie, and now the only thing I know about it is that the promo shot involves a black and white photo of Leonardo with his Titanic hair. So: A+, naturally.
5. The Beach (1998)
Again, didn't see — was angry that he cut his locks.
6. Gangs of New York (2002)
I dragged my friends to see this because my boyfriend was in it (Leonardo, not Daniel Day-Lewis — sorry, bae), and halfway through we stopped paying attention and started making jokes about the hats. Evidently, Gangs of New York is not a movie for 16-year-old girls who wanted to see Jack Dawson still be Jack Dawson. Also: we've got another wig. Also (again): an Irish accent. (I think.) Maybe I would like it as an adult, but nothing will top the screening of 2002, at least according to my friends who still won't let me forget it.
7. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Prime Leo. Perfect Leo. The hair, the sixties clothes, the craftiness, the perfect acting — and also, Tom Hanks. If Leo and I end up together, this will be the movie we project behind us while we exchange our vows. (Of which Tom Hanks will officiate.)
8. The Aviator (2004)
I was too young to appreciate this, especially because I was under the impression that Gwen Stefani was co-starring. I'm sorry, DiCaprio, but I'd rather watch Titanic again.
9. The Departed (2006)
What's better than Teen Dream-edition Leo? Leo faking his way into the Irish Boston mob. Extra points to Leo for hitting a guy over the head with his cast after said guy asked if he had his period. I like to think DiCaps came up with that on his own, based on an inside joke we have yet to have. He gets it. Or at least he did, in that moment.
10. Blood Diamond (2006)
I didn't see this.
11. Body of Lies (2008)
12. Revolutionary Road (2008)
Did you guys see this? DID YOU GUYS SEE THIS? I hope so because it's only one of the most powerful Leo + Kate performances, dealing with the gender roles we forced (and still do force) men and women to exist in. Imagine being at a dinner party where the hosts start screaming at each other. That's what this movie is like, but what they're both yelling for is an Oscar. An Oscar! The one thing that matters more to Leo than my heart.
13. Shutter Island (2010)
I went to this under the impression it was about ghosts. My mistake, yes, but still: Ruffalo wins this movie, and also I'm still afraid of it.
14. Inception (2010)
[INCEPTION SOUNNDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD] A+++
15. J Edgar (2011)
Get out of here, old-person makeup.
16. Django Unchained (2012)
Terrifying, aaaaand I find Leo to be completely unappealing and horrible. (Meaning he acted very well. But also: no thank you, get away from me.)
17. The Great Gatsby (2013)
Blame it on the cashmere tops or Gatsby's excessive spending or the slow motion cheers-thing he does: title this gem, "How Leonardo DiCaprio won me back and inspire me to watch Titanic on an airplane." Or, "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Pretend He's Not a Weirdo Modellizer For at Least the Duration of This Movie."
18. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
This movie is horrifying but also I think it's the closest thing there is to a Leo biopic. At least right now. This is 40: Leonardo DiCaprio. He can't keep up the nonsense, can he?
Never let go.