I can say with full confidence that I believe this is the year that we will see Leonardo DiCaprio receive the Oscar he has deserved for so long. Any other film he has starred in has merely been preparation for the role he had to take on in The Revenant, a hauntingly beautiful tale of love and revenge from director Alejandro G. Inarritu (Birdman).
Innaritu is slowly becoming one of my favorite directors. He's insane. It's visually clear how far he will go to take a movie, his cast, and his crew to bring a story to life. But at the same time, he's able to really make you feel. No matter what anyone says, it can be a nearly Herculean task to make an audience truly feel what a character is experiencing on screen. With something as haunting as the catalyst-like scene in Revenant, Innaritu, DiCaprio and co-star Tom Hardy make the task seem effortless. This truly is one of the best films of the year.
DiCaprio portrays Hugh Glass, an experienced member of a group of 19th-century hunters and fur-trappers traversing the Louisiana Purchase. The group is led by Captain Andrew Henry (Dohmnall Gleeson). After escaping an attack from the Native American Arikara tribe (in a sequence that is gorgeously shot by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezski), the survivors make their way to safety. Glass is separated from the rest of the party and is ruthlessly attacked by a grizzly bear in one of the most gut-wrenching sequences I've ever seen in any film. The make-up team alone deserves an Academy Award. Describing it on paper won't do it justice; in order to get the full emotional effect, it must be watched.
John Fitzgerald (portrayed by Tom Hardy), one of the members of the group, suggests that carrying Glass all the way with such severe injuries is only slowing their team down as they make their way back home. This is where I'm getting into spoiler territory. I'm not going to say much more than that about Hardy's character, but I will say that Hardy knows how to play a villain with extreme tenacity. What Fitzgerald does to Glass, both emotionally and physically, is horrific. Remember what I said earlier about the director and these characters being very effective when it comes to making the audience feel? Remember the aforementioned scene and you'll understand. Never have I actually felt my chest run cold watching a film.
It's no surprise that The Revenant has received twelve Academy Award nominations. It is a powerful two and a half hour journey surrounding the themes of love, loss, and revenge, and it is guaranteed to leave you satisfied.
The Revenant is now playing everywhere. For movie showtimes and information, visit www.fandango.com
This has been another Shameless Promotion.