2.09.2016

The Revenant (2015)

The Revenant (2015) is the best film that I've seen since really enjoying Interstellar and Fury Road last year. Innaritu has crafted a film that instantly propels itself into the pantheon of classic filmic storytelling. The use of natural light, panoramic landscapes, and stark natural environments recalls Dances with Wolves. There is a touch of the angst and tension that permeates There Will be Blood here as well, as Leonardo DiCaprio's Hugh Glass seeks revenge for a variety of offenses against himself and his family. 

DiCaprio delivers the performance of his fine career here. That final shot--that close-up on his shimmering eyes and fatigued face--perfectly captures the immensity inherent in all that he has lost. It's as physical a role as he's ever played, and he nails it. I sincerely hope that he takes home an Oscar for this one, as I can't imagine a more difficult or trying turn.

The folklore surround Glass's travails is, in itself, a fascinating tale. The Revenant tells the story of the American West and the Great Plains in such a way that you'll want to look into the American Indian Wars more closely, and in particular the skirmishes between expansionist trappers and pioneers and the Ree Tribes of the Dakotas.

It's a total film, with fine, memorable turns, artistic photography, a captivating score, and a rich narrative. I give this one an 'A' mark on every count, and I highly recommend that you look at it in the theater, where the cinematography has its greatest impact.

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