Leonardo DiCaprio winning his first-ever Oscar at the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday night was every bit as satisfying as it should have been. After all, his performance as the lead actor in "The Revenant" was striking; perhaps his best to date. His recognition was well deserved and overdue.
But it was during the veteran actor's acceptance speech that he left me, and a few others, a bit confused.
"The Revenant," DiCaprio said, was "about a man's relationship with the natural world," and noted that the production crew had to move to the "southern tip of this planet" to find snow.
That made me go, "Huh? Was it that hard?" Let's backtrack:
The bulk of the filming took place in Calgary, Alberta, where Canadian snow totals for 2015 were not a disappointment. It was there that DiCaprio observed the talents of a chinook, a weather phenomenon that occurs every one out of three days during the winter in Alberta, and can raise the temperature by 80 degrees in as little as two minutes. This is what melted most of the snow on location. Whatever point DiCaprio was trying to make was based on ignorance, the hallmark of most celebrities who try to stick their noses in science. We're just glad the crew didn't travel to Florida to find the white stuff.
DiCaprio, who obviously didn't bother to do 30 seconds of online research before shooting his mouth off, was unaware that chinooks are welcomed by Calgarians, because he described his experience as "scary" in a Variety.com article. Twitter — and weather geeks everywhere — went nuts over it.
Then I thought to myself, "Why didn't they at least attempt to shoot the movie where the story originally developed, in the wilderness of the Northern Plains in unorganized U.S. territory (now parts of Montana and the Dakotas)?" Had they done so, the production schedule would have almost perfectly aligned with a rare cold front that swept through the northern Rockies in July of 2015 (the film began shooting in August 2015), blanketing ski resorts in Montana and Wyoming with several inches of snow.
Well, then, if Leo still wanted snow, he should've called me! Those in charge of scouting for the film completely missed Michigan's Upper Peninsula where, without a doubt, every year, major highways are shut down, classes are canceled, and kids end up going to school until the middle of June because of the blizzards that blanket our area.
Trust me, there is no shortage of snow here. Ever.