Leonard DiCaprio did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Romeo in Romeo and Juliet.
What about the acting though, well ...... Well the film chooses to keep with the Bard's original words for the most part. The words of Shakespeare here are often treated like taking a symphony by Beethoven and play through poorly tuned instruments, or maybe cooking a great recipe with stale foodstuffs. Well many of the actors are bordering on causing rapid ear bleeding with their butchering of the words, that would be ill fitting even in a thirty second comedy bit. There is some relief found in the Friar Laurence equivalent Father Lawrence played by one of the best character actors of the 90's Pete Postlethwaite who understands the words, but even modernizes his technique slightly yet smoothly. That is not the case for any other actor really, but luckily for DiCaprio though he is not one of the instruments that is completely out of tune.
DiCaprio really does not have the language down and it does undercut every scene he is in to at least some degree. The film is fundamentally wrong when the language cuts down any emotion rather than ever amplify it. That is not all that undercuts his performance though as there is consistently Luhrmann's obnoxious gimmicky direction in every scene such a turning Mercutio's death apparently into an upcoming apocalypse or putting a cheesy 90's love song in every love scene between Romeo and Juliet. No matter what even if DiCaprio were to do something right Luhrmann would not really make any use of it anyway. This basically is almost a pointless endeavor by Leonardo DiCaprio, but to be fair in terms of when you think of a Romeo DiCaprio definitely is someone who fits the bill.
DiCaprio isn't really bad here, his delivery of the monologues is rather rusty but not terrible. He is enthusiastic in his performance and his very emotional style of performance is not wrong for Romeo as I think a necessary to show the fact that Romeo does not really think things out to much. With all that is against him though it hardly is able to produce much of anything no matter how much passion he does put in it. DiCaprio throws himself into being Romeo for sure, and I appreciate that effort he obviously shows throughout but never has so much passion meant so little for me. Romeo as a character is no Hamlet to be sure, and all you really need is some charm and that passion for him to fulfill the need of the part. DiCaprio does perhaps do this, but I never saw it through Luhrmann's direction.