Originally Posted by DaveyJoeG
I don't know, I think Leo tends to overact in some of his movies, like The Departed. All of that yelling and shouting seems a bit forced, that's probably why the Academy decided to nominate his much more subdued performance in Blood Diamond. Johnny Depp's performance in Donnie Brasco is much more subtle and realistic, whereas Leo seems to be channeling the more theatrical performances of the 50s.
There's a difference between subtle and just completely flat. I wouldn't call it more realistic either. What are you basing this on?
DiCaprio may give an intense performance, but I don't think he particularly goes over the top. Yelling in some scenes is not equivalent to going over the top. I don't think there is a scene in the film where he yells where it is unjustified or unrealistic.
The thing I really like about DiCaprio's performance is that you can tell that the character is shaken and on edge. Not just because DiCaprio yells in some scenes, but within his facial expressions, line delivery, reactions, etc. It's a very detailed performance and I think a lot of people miss out on these details the first few times they watch the movie. A good example is the "I smell a rat" scene. You can really tell the toll that his job has taken on him.