It is clear that some are good celebrities and some are good actors. It is the chose few that are good at both that we always like the most. Some names today include Hanks, De Niro, Pacino, Streep, Blanchett, Cruise, and Day-Lewis. Another name that fits that is DiCaprio.
I first saw him as a teenage hearthrob in Titanic, then saw him spread his acting wings in the early 21st Century in films like Gangs of New York and The Aviator. Now, he is one of the most famous, talented actors on the planet. All that is missing is an Oscar, and I think The Revenant will give him that.
The Revenant is based off of a real life frontiersman named Hugo Glass (DiCaprio). During a fur expedition, he is mauled by a bear (a scene that will defy belief for any viewer). Others in his company are set to press on, but some stay behind, including his son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), Bridger (Will Poulter), and John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy).
(Warning: The following paragraph does have vo, but I feel to mention them because they are in the trailer.) Glass is so mutilated that Fitzgerald feels it is right to just end his life quickly, but Hawk does not agree. Eventually, Fitzgerald kills Hawk, Glass’s only family, and leaves Glass to die.
The rest of the film is the journey back to living for Hugh Glass. What surprised me a lot was how little dialogue Leonardo Dicaprio has in the film (although after the bear attack, I assume his vocals would be near extinct). It is just another way for us to remember how great an actor Dicaprio is.
The film also is more proof of how wonderful an actor Tom Hardy is (he does not have the star power of the names I mentioned before, but he is getting there). He is one of a handful of actors up for Best Supporting Actor consideration.
Now I get to the visuals, which are among the most dark, beautiful, and haunting you will see in a theater. Director Alejandro G. Inarritu (fresh off his Oscar win for Birdman) is as responsible for it as is the uncanny cinamatography by Emmanuel Lubezki, who won back to back Oscars for Gravity and Birdman. The visuals give the film its own layer of spirituality and grace.
Parents, there is a little nudity (two men from far away) and one soldier raping an indian woman (we just see thrusting, no nudity). Still, the R rating is for the violence. I know that Leo was not attacked by a bear, but I had to remind myself at times it wasn’t real. The R rating is justified.
For those who can handle The Revenant‘s grit, realism, honor, grace, spirituality, and dark harshness, it is definetly one of the best of 2015.
Overall: Four and a Half Stars ****1/2