Leonardo DiCaprio has been itching for that long awaited Oscar for Best Actor, and if he walks away from this year’s ceremony empty handed, he’ll certainly question what more he has to do to earn the prestigious award. His latest outing sees him feature in Alejandro Inarritu’s The Revenant – a movie of severe grit and tension, beautifully filmed and expertly portrayed.
The movie follows the true story of frontiersman, Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), as a fur trading expedition takes a nasty turn when he is brutally mauled by a bear, incurring devastating injuries and left on the brink of death.
When found by the rest of his colleagues, they decide to leave two men to look after the severely hurt Glass. Jim Bridger (Will Poulter) and John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) are promised more money to look after Glass but decide instead to leave him for dead and leave the tale of how they gave him a fine send off for when they return and are paid.
But when left for dead, Glass’ survival instincts kick in and he seeks vengeance on the two men who abandoned him.
Birdman director Inarritu’s and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s immediately submerge you into the heart of 1820’s America with an immensely intimate fight scene between Glass and his colleagues with a group of tribesman warriors. It’s a gritty, dirty, dark scene, which gives you a fine feel of what to expect from the rest of the movie. The audience feels the bite of the cold and the feel of the mud in the wintery forest terrain so much so you almost feel uncomfortable watching it.
The scene that has had most people talking is of course the bear mauling itself. Some have described it as a “rape” scene whereas many, including DiCaprio himself, have denied such suggestions. (After all, the bear is a female protecting her cubs). He did however go on to say he spent months rehearsing the scene, making sure the intimacy and savageness of the scene is perfectly portrayed.
It’s just one credit given to DiCaprio who went through incredible lengths to perfect the role, including working in sub-zero temperatures and chewing through raw bison liver.
It’s an award worthy performance from DiCaprio and it’s no surprise the film itself has been talked about as the award season approaches. Inarritu’s Birdman of course won Best Picture at the Academy Awards last year and there are certainly relative elements he shares in The Revenant.