Leo’s Hidden Masterpiece – The Basketball Diaries

The Basketball Diaries (1995) Photo by Caitlin Black.

It is an undeniable fact that Leonardo DiCaprio is one of today’s most talented actors. He is known for many huge roles in blockbuster Hollywood films, however, one of my personal favourite movies of his is actually the lower budget, less popular movie: ‘The Basketball Diaries‘.

This is the film adaption of the book of the same name which is the true story of Jim Carroll as a teenager. The story follows Jim and his three closest friends as they become less involved in school and their basketball dreams and become more involved in a world of drugs and crime.

The acting from Leo is incredible, he perfectly demonstrates the downfalls and negative effects of drugs and crime and does not romanticise this lifestyle in any way. He certainly does justice to Jim Carroll by portraying his struggle so well. Another standout actor in this film is Mark Wahlberg, who was still early into his acting career. He plays a tough teen who is still very weak when it comes to drugs and he sadly loses control over his life and his fate.

This movie is definitely a classic as it is an excellent story with incredible acting. It is definitely worth watching especially if you are interested in the subject area. It is a cult favourite as the movie did not receive many rewards or attain high commercial success yet there are many fans of the film. It is a gritty film which is not to everyone’s taste but something everyone should experience at least once and perhaps learn something.