Big Screen: The Revenant
There's so much Oscar buzz (12 noms!) about The Revenant that I decided to see it, even though the plot didn't appeal to me as much as some other ones. Also: bear mauiling, a little graphic for my taste. While I though this movie was beautifully done, I was right, it just wasn't my story. Here's the plot (from YouTube):
Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption. THE REVENANT is directed and co-written by renowned filmmaker, Academy Award® winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman, Babel).
The vistas in the movie are breath taking--those extra gajillions of dollars and travels really added up to something special. They seemed so uninhabited, so wild, they seemed like something that no longer exists. Really amazing sense of place and set in this movie.
The acting was terrific (bringing back that slang, ;)).
There were about 8 characters you distinctly know in this movie:
Glass, Leonardo DiCaprio commits, as always, and it's an inspired performance. He uses his whole body, his eyes, every motion was just absolutely this character. He's driven and vengeful, and smart, and has amazing instincts.
Hawk Glass' son played by Forrest Goodluck, was good, though it must be incredibly tricky to play opposite DiCaprio for your big screen breakthrough.
Andrew Henry, the leader of the trappers, was played by Domhnall Gleeson (WHO IS IN EVERYTHING AND IS AWESOME) excellent--he played his role with authority and grace, he was the person in the story I felt I could empathize with. And... he has red hair. Love him!
Fitzgerald played by Tom Hardy. He's one of the guys in the trapping team and is in it for the cash and hates Native Americans, and is a bit . Tom Hardy made Fitzgerald into a hateful guy, you sort of understand where he's coming from, but he goes dark and twisted so quickly it gets scary.
Jim Bridger played by Will Poulter is awesome--I really thought this young, somewhat naive, moral kid was a great foil to Fitxgerald. And I can't wait to see Will Poulter in more movies.
Hikuc,a kind Powanee Glass meets along the way is played by Arthur RedCloud and his role is pivotal. He was kind while maintaining a sense of the wildness of the landscape.
Powaq a Native American princess (is that the right term?) who is kidnapped by the French, Melaw Nakehk'o is regal and cunning.
Elk Dog(Powaqa's father) who leads the Native American's on raids in search of his daughter, is played by Duane Howard. In the first scene he's brutal, ruthless, and a frightened father. In one of the final scenes, he is dignified while still being wild, and the transformation is powerful.
I understand why this movie was nominated for as many Oscars as it was--you feel like you're participating in the adventure with the cast. I'll be rooting for it for Best Actor, Director, and possibly Supporting Actor. BUT, this isn't a movie I feel passionate about or emotionally invested in, so it's definitely not my pick for Best Picture. If you're up for a gory, scenic, revenge film, go see it in the theater. If you're not into graphic injuries or blood, pass on this one.
This 538 Chart of who is most deserving of an Oscar (by the numbers) is pretty fun.
Watch the trailer and see for yourself!
Here's the real life story that this movie is based on (via Avaunt)