The Revenant

Just give the guy an Oscar already.  He deserves it.  Leonardo Dicaprio, the five time Oscar nominee with nothing to show for it, seems to have a serious chance at finally giving his acceptance speech.  It’s something I’m sure he’s practiced many times, and after seeing The Revenant, I think he’ll finally be able to put that practice to good use.

It really does shock me that such as prestigious actor has yet to win an Oscar.  When I think about all the great roles Dicaprio has played, it’s hard to believe that after terrific performances in iconic movies such as Aviator, Titanic, Gangs of New York, The Departed, Catch Me if You Can, or Wolf of Wall Street he has yet to collect the hardware.  To me, there definitely should have been an Oscar somewhere in there,  but at the end of the day I don’t get a vote.

If I did get a vote, DiCaprio would surely get mine this year.  The Revenant featured some of Leo’s best work, and with a great performance from his co-star Tom Hardy, world class director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu made a film with power and intensity few films can rival.  The movie is inspired by a true story and follows Hugh Glass’ journey through the wilderness as he seeks revenge on his son’s killer.  After being attacked by a bear and nearly killed, Glass is left behind with his son and two other men who have been instructed to care for him.  John Fitzgerald, Hardy’s character, is one of the men left behind and with his impatience growing he murders Glass’ son and leaves Glass to die.

The next two hours are scenes people today could never imagine.  From eating a raw buffalo liver (which DiCaprio actually did) to climbing inside a dead horse, the movie is a vivid portrayal of survival.  As I sat there watching the film, I cringed through most of it having a difficult time even looking at what it took to survive such horrific environments.  Much of the films effect comes from the way in which Innaritu and DiCaprio leave little room for imagination.  DiCaprio’s body is dirty, shaky, bloody and thin, and the director captures viewers attention by really focusing on these hardships.

The directing was great, Tom Hardy was superb, the beautiful scenery was engrossing, but for me, it’s DiCaprio who completely steals the show and makes an already good movie, great.  I had some general background on the film prior to seeing it, but one thing which really surprised me was the dialogue.  Usually, I find movies with little character interaction to be boring, but for this one, it’s actually what makes the movie so good.  Throughout much of the film Glass’ injuries are so severe he is not able to speak, and the lack of dialogue combined with DiCaprio’s excruciating movements and noises make the film one of which will definitely be in contention come Oscar night.

I highly recommend this film, but I will also say it’s certainly not for the faint, so if you’re someone who doesn’t like blood or gore then maybe this is one isn’t for you.  However, if you’re a Leo fan, which most of us are, I’d say it’s a must see, and  let us cross our fingers in hopes he is finally rewarded for his efforts.

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