The first teaser for Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up gave us a glimpse of Leonardo DiCaprio in rare comedy mode, and the new “Tudum” teaser doubles down, giving us even more of comedy Leo D in action. He’s sweaty, nervous, he has a stupid haircut and an obviously fake beard, I love it. I also like this teaser a lot more than the first one. I wasn’t sold at first look, but the chemistry on display between DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, and Meryl Streep is GREAT. McKay is good with ensembles, and this is another star-studded ensemble for him to work with, and he’s only getting better at it. I don’t know that Don’t Look Up will be able to carve a place for itself in an overcrowded awards season, especially since The Power of the Dog is Netflix’s awards baby, but at the very least, we have a new comedy performance from Leonardo DiCaprio. He hasn’t done one since The Wolf of Wall Street. (Although I don’t think the finance bros who embraced that film realize he was playing Jordan Belfort as a comedy villain.)
I have always wavered on counting DiCaprio’s work with Quentin Tarantino as comedy performances. Calvin Candie feels like a comedy villain, but Django Unchained is so dark, and Calvin Candie as a character is SO dark, I’m not sure it counts. It has moments of comedy, for sure, such as the dinner scene. But Calvin Candie is a monster, and DiCaprio plays him monstrously. Rick Dalton has a similar feel. At times, yes, total comedy performance. And Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood isn’t NEARLY as dark as Django Unchained, even though both are part of Tarantino’s revisionist history class. But there is a sadness in Rick Dalton that permeates DiCaprio’s whole performance. I don’t think he is playing Rick as a comedy character, but as a man so divorced from himself that he becomes clownish. Let me know what you think, if we should count DiCaprio’s Tarantino work as comedy performances.