This marks the first post in a new series called Muses and Maestros, featuring some of the most talented pairings in modern film. First up, Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese.
The players: Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese
The works: Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island
The most famous actor/director duo that Martin Scorsese will ever be involved in is his partnership with Robert DeNiro. The movie classics that evolved from that relationship will always be untouched. With that said, Scorsese is treading similar waters with Leonardo DiCaprio to great results. The Departed finally netted Scorsese that coveted Best Director trophy and it's hard to argue that DiCaprio's performance isn't a major reason for the film's success.
DiCaprio has gone on to other great work for directors besides Scorsese (Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott), but his highs have rarely reached the same heights that Shutter Island accomplished. Still, the envy of all filmmakers today is a hard goal to attain frequently.
Scorsese recently received accolades for his work on Hugo without DiCaprio, but his films without the former teenaged heart-throb have been few. Excluding documentaries, one would have to go back to 1999's Bringing out the Dead to find a feature without Leonardo DiCaprio in it and the two will pair up again (their fifth time) for The Wolf of Wall Street this year.
Best film: The Departed won Best Picture and it also won Scorsese his only Oscar for Best Director, but few films have captured such pathos as Shutter Island. DiCaprio's turn and Scorsese's direction resulted in a genre effort that vaulted an homage to psychological thrillers into what was my favorite film of 2010.