Leonardo Di Caprio endures more punishment than the audience of Attack of the Clones as Hugh Glass, a man who is left for dead in the wilderness and has to find his way to the man who killed his son.
The Revenant is set against some of the most beautiful back-drops put to film, but projected onto it is some of the most gruesome, violent and agonising content. Glass has to endure endless horrors at the mercy both of nature and those he encounters in the wilderness.
He is superb in the almost dialogue-free role, although I would still rather the Oscar went to Eddie Redmayne. Opposite him is Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald, perfecting a North Carolina drawl and inhabiting the part of the man who’s rough, tough and covered in fluff.
It also deserves all its other nominations, for cinematography – with the washed-out colouring reflecting the film’s grey atmosphere while not detracting from its beauty, for music- with a simple and haunting score than infuses it with a sense of unease, for special effects- with the best CGI animals since The Life of Pi, for sound- for the crisp, perfectly natural foley work, and for direction, for pulling it all together.
More than any other film in the last year it’s a tour-de-force of every aspect of film making. It’s a poignant struggle for survival, an examination of colonialism and is rich with symbolism. It’s also boundary pushing in terms of what you can put it a mainstream film, refusing to shy away from graphic content – adding to its impact.
There are probably enough people singing this film’s praises right now, and it looks destined for Oscars glory so I won’t say any more. Just go and watch it. Unless you’ve eaten recently.