Will Leo’s change of pace in 'The Revenant''bring him his first Oscar?


Film: “The Revenant”

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Studio: FOX Studios

Release date: Jan. 8

Grade: A

What can only be described as emotionally draining and brutal, “The Revenant” is a film that deserves the hype behind it. With its raw emotion and gorgeous cinematography, the audience can’t help but sit in awe of the work put into it.

Based on a fur-trapping expedition in 1823, the film portrays the unbelievable conditions and constant threats that went into backwoods journeys through uncharted wilderness.

The first scene of the movie shows the brutal reality of fur trapping in Western America with a scene definitely not considered family friendly. This violence immediately sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

The brutality escalates as viewers follow Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) on a journey that will leave them speechless. With talented supporting roles from Tom Hardy, Will Poulter and Domhnall Gleeson, the film comes together in a beautiful display of acting and directing.

Much of the hype involved with this film is with the performance of Leonardo DiCaprio, which some believe will earn him his first Oscar win.

Many people believe that the talented actor should have won an Oscar for Best Actor by now, but his performance in “The Revenant” demonstrates hope still exists for his diehard fans.

The performance in this film is different from his work in the past few years. His smooth-talking role as Jordan Belfort in 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” fit DiCaprio well and earned an Oscar nomination.

A year prior we saw him in a supporting role in “Django Unchained.” He played another smooth-talker in this film that some may believe out-did that of Oscar winner Christoph Waltz.

His role as Hugh Glass in “The Revenant” was nothing like either of these films.

It was not dialogue-rich at all, unlike his other roles. His performance was driven by revenge and the unbelievable survival of his character. The way he portrays his emotions without the use of his voice is astonishing. His grunts and snarls only seem to highlight the animalism within the film.

Some may say the lack of dialogue hurts his chances of winning his first Academy Award, but the naysayers and supporters alike will have to wait until Feb. 28 to find out.

Even though DiCaprio’s performance may have been the highlight of the film, another role cannot go unnoticed.

Tom Hardy’s role as John Fitzgerald was nothing short of incredible.

The evil and greed that Hardy brought out to play this character propelled the audience support for DiCaprio’s character to new heights. He played the perfect antagonist. He is nominated for his first Oscar in this Best Supporting Actor role and it is well deserved.

The story and characters in “The Revenant” were enough to captivate audiences, but adding the unbelievable shots and scenery made the film nothing short of amazing.

The film, shot with natural lighting, is a testament to the director’s eye for production and cinematography. With no enhanced lights, the film shows the unbelievable amount of work that went into creating the film.

Come Feb. 28, “The Revenant” may be bringing home plenty of little gold statues.

Evan Grisley is an arts staff writer. Arts desk can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com.