Year: 2016 Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
It’s January and after the Christmas blockbusters here come the Oscar-friendly movies. It is well-known that a sure path to that best actor statuette is to suffer for your art/play someone who suffers in their life. So Leonardo Di Caprio goes all frostbitten here in search of glory, playing early nineteenth-century guide and trapper Hugh Glass whose true story of abandonment in the South Dakota wilderness after a bear attack has inspired many re-tellings, of which this is the most recent. It’s clearly one of the founding stories of the American frontier, stressing the will of the individual to overcome all obstacles and beat the odds.
The pre-release guff about The Revenant focused on how much Di Caprio had really been mauled by a bear, and more credibly the general extreme weather conditions of the shoot. The bear attack is quite extra-ordinary and caps a quite brilliant first act that – IMHO – the rest of the movie struggles to live up to. The chaotic breaking up of the fur-trapping expedition that has brought Glass and his comrades to this extreme environment is a brilliantly paced mixture of violence and emotions.
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