Best Picture Nominee Review: The Revenant


Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

The Revenant is inspired by the true story about a frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

Going into the theater, I actually didn’t know much about the story other than the fact Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy were in it, and that Alejandro G. Iñárritu directed it. I think it’s necessary to know the premise before watching it because I was rather lost as to the plot and what was going on for a good 45 minutes.

This film is not for everyone. If you like a period piece with lots of blood, fights and weird things happening this is the film for you. Let me preface the rest of this review by saying this, this was not my favorite film. Was it beautiful? Yes. Was Leo everything that was expected? Yes. It was just not my style.

Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) has these flashbacks of I’m guessing his wife when she was killed, and her leading him to this mountain of skulls or something like that. It sort of reminded me of Inception in that his dead wife was speaking to him.

This whole film is basically about Glass surviving. He gets mauled by a bear, left to die by his people, and then falls off a cliff.. and still survives. I’m not really sure how that was possible, but it happened. I think Leo is great in this. You can see his struggle and fight in his eyes and actions, but that’s it. He actually doesn’t/ can’t speak for a solid hour and a half. Yeah, he is probably going to win an Oscar for him not even speaking for over half the film. Anyway, I digress.

The saving grace of this film, for me, was the cinematography. Emmanuel Lubezki is a genius. His cinematography is breathtaking. I personally think he could have gotten more gritty and raw with the camera considering what he was shooting, but other than that it’s a sight to be seen. If he doesn’t win the Oscar for this I will be utterly surprised. He definitely deserves the Oscar three-peat if he wins on Sunday.



Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

I’m just going to touch on Tom Hardy for a second. He was good in this, but was it Oscar nomination worthy? I don’t think so. He should have been nominated for Mad Max: Fury Road in which he was fantastic. And his Best Supporting Actor nomination should have been transferred to Jacob Tremblay in Room.

I know I will be deeply disappointed if/when The Revenant wins Best Picture over some of the more brilliant films in this category. Like I said earlier, this film was not my cup of tea. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t be yours.

This is my opinion and I hope to hear your take on it as well.

*Click The Revenant at the top of the page to watch the trailer.*




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