The Revenant is an intense, award-packed film that gives director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu a shot at a Golden Globe for best director and maybe even another Oscar (Birdman). Leonardo DiCaprio will pick up a third Golden Globe on Sunday, likely a Screen Actors Guild best actor award and is the odds-on favorite to win his first Oscar.
This movie even has an outside chance at best picture at the Golden Globes and upcoming award events.
The Revenant is loosely based on Michael Punke’s novel that is also loosely based on the true story of frontiersman Hugh Glass. It’s the second time Glass’ story has been the — again — loose subject of a major motion picture. In 1971, Richard Harris and acting-directing legend John Huston did the acclaimed The Man in the Wilderness.
It isn’t nearly as good as The Revenant. A big reason is the incredible performances of DiCaprio and an almost unrecognizable Tom Hardy.
DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass. Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Will Poulter (The Maze Runner, We’re the Millers) play John Fitzgerald and the young Jim Bridger, who later in life became famous as a frontier scout and explorer. Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ex Machina) plays company owner Capt. Andrew Henry.
Defining the word revenant is important to Glass’ story and this movie. It’s a person who returns, or a person who returns as a ghost after death. Some definitions say a revenant is a spirit from the dead that haunts the living.
It’s 1823 and Glass is working for Henry’s fur-trapping company. While out hunting, Glass is mauled by a grizzly. Fitzgerald and Bridger volunteered to bury him once he dies. But they abandoned him before his death and take his rifle, knife and other survival equipment.
Glass doesn’t die, and through sheer will and determination, crawls and limps about 200 miles to a fort where his former companions are housed.
Some say the real life Glass was out for revenge. Others contend he just wanted his gear back. Inarritu and screenwriter Mark L. Smith (Vacancy) say it’s revenge, and in this this case, revenge really is a dish best served cold. Really cold. Shot on location in snowy and frigid Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, Montana and parts of Argentina, DiCaprio, Hardy, Poulter, Gleeson and their co-stars suffered through harsh shooting conditions.
Bundle up when you see this one, the realism works.
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated R for mature themes and violence. It’s playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12, Fairchild’s Queensgate 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.