The Revenant Review

Will DiCaprio survive? Will he get his Oscar?

By Tom Flanagan


In 1823, a fur-trapping expedition in the American Midwest is attacked by a Native American tribe. Their quest to reach safety is complicated by a bear attack that leaves tracker Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) close to death.

There’s one question on the lips of the movie going community, is this Leo’s year? Many thought his role in Wolf of Wall Street was academy award worthy, but DiCaprio’s chilling, emotional portrayal of Hugh Glass couldn’t be further away from Jordan Belfort. Glass is a family man of few words (and it’s only like 50% because he can’t psychically open his mouth) who wants one thing, revenge. This lust for revenge is felt by every single audience member and DiCaprio doesn’t have to say a word, if he does he’ll probably say it in Native American.


I firmly expect not just Leo, but the whole movie to sweep up at this month’s Oscars, Tom hardy has received a nomination for his role as black-hearted killer John Fitzgerald, and for a man who has played so many characters in the past few years, and so many of them likeable, it’s testament to his ability to jerk on our heart strings that I stone cold hated his character. You root for Leo’s revenge, and for a villain, that’s a fantastic day in the office.

It’s beautifully ironic that one of the most harrowing and gritty stories in Hollywood history is set in some of the most breath-taking landscapes I’ve seen in cinema. Alejandro G Inarritu’s legendary nine month shoot in Alberta and Argentina makes the character’s trip through an icy hell look like heaven, and made this movie not only an amazing emotional experience, but also a sensory one. So expect a hat trick of Oscars for cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki following his awards for Gravity and Birdman.


History buffs may be slightly set aback by the confusing cultural and historical dynamics, as it is unclear when or where in the US it set if you didn’t read up on the movie before, with the unnecessary false conflict with the French making you think it was during the war of 1812, and all the different tribes of Natives adding to the confusion around what is a perfect revenge narrative. For me though, it takes nothing much away from the movie, and if you have a spare £5 and wish to see a story of family, passion, revenge and the worth of life, which involves Leonardo DiCaprio going at a fish like Gollum with the one ring, and slicing up and living in a horse like Luke Skywalker’s Tauntaun, this movie is well worth the entry fee.

Just remember to exit pursued by bear.

For more films and shows like The Revenant, check out the Macrobert Arts Centre’s website.


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