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The Revenant Flourishes

Pat Coffey, Staff Writer

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The Revenant (rated R) tells the story of Hugh Glass, a frontiersman during the 1820’s who is mauled by a bear while on a fur trading expedition and must fight for survival after his hunting team leaves him for dead. The Revenant stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, and is directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu.

This movie is well deserved of its best picture Oscar nomination. The Revenant has an intense story, great acting performances, excellent camera work,  and beautiful cinematography. Even in the very beginning of the movie, all of these aspects make the audience feel as though they are in the middle of the action with the characters and it is breathtaking.

The writing in this movie is well done, and the story of Hugh Glass in this movie is extremely intense. The character is fighting for his life throughout the entire movie. Whether Glass faces being mauled by a bear, fighting to survive in the cruel elements of nature, or going up against Native Americans, the French, and even other American fur trappers, Glass is continuously fighting for his life. This may be the only place the movie goes too far, because this movie is so intense at a 156 minute runtime, it can feel as though it drags on.

The acting performances in The Revenant were phenomenal. Hardy gave a great performance, and Poulter was great as a supporting actor also which was also a pleasant surprise. And certainly DiCaprio stole the show as our protagonist Hugh Glass. One of the things that made Dicaprio’s performance so special was that often times he is alone and wordless, but he manages to help you to feel everything through him. You feel when he gets cold or when he is in danger. Dicaprio manages to express a lifetime of emotions while speaking a limited amount. DiCaprio even earned an Oscar nomination for best actor from this movie.

The camera work in this movie is amazing. Iñárritu is known for continuous shots that put the audience right in the action. The director used the style in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) which won an Oscar for best picture and best achievement in direction among others. This style is thrilling and engaging because it is fast paced and right in the middle of everything. But in this movie Iñárritu brings the camera work to a whole other level. Wide shots of the beautiful landscape are breathtaking, while other shots will baffle an audience on how they are even possible.

The Cinematography however was without a doubt the most extraordinary part in a great movie. Iñárritu was masterful in the way he crafted this movie. The lighting in The Revenant was 100 percent natural. The natural lighting coupled with the remarkable camera work makes this one of the best looking films maybe ever. With a well done score Iñárritu put together a masterpiece. From the editing to the look to the score this film’s cinematography is unbelievable and without even seeing all of the other movies nominated I can tell you without a doubt it will win an Oscar for its cinematography.

This was one of the best movies 2015 had to offer. It humanized a time period that was once just thought of through a history textbook and allows viewers to feel the struggles and hardships of the old frontier. I would extremely recommend that you go see this movie while it is still in theaters so that you get the full experience of one of the best movies of the year.

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The Revenant Flourishes