The Revenant

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domnhall Gleeson, Will Poulter
Directed By: Alejandro Inarritu

I finally saw it. The 12 nominations this morning pushed me to finally get around to seeing The Revenant. Well, it’s really long, brutal, and a contemplative piece on revenge. Ultimately, I understand the length. We really get to appreciate Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance, because we have extended sequences of his survival. I’m not sure it’s really a rewarding film, persay, but it’s just a tremendous DiCaprio performance. If he doesn’t win for this, he never will. It’s truly his best performance, ever, and that’s saying a lot.

Truly, The Revenant is a beautifully shot film. My biggest problem is that I felt the runtime. My mind wandered. I wondered how many shots I actually needed of DiCaprio staggering through the woods in order to appreciate his performance. Honestly, his performance could have been five minutes long, and I still think it would have been the best performance of the year. There are just a few key scenes that we need, and the rest is just extra. He’s just that fucking good. It’s insane how good he is.

Also, Tom Hardy is absolutely perfect as well. I did feel that the greatness of his performance did grow with each scene, mainly because he has substantially more dialogue than DiCaprio. Most of DiCaprio’s performance is time spent by himself, so there’s not a lot of talking, but Hardy has a decent amount of dialogue. His drawl is perfect, and even more impressive considering Hardy’s country of origin. He’s the perfect villain to DiCaprio’s protagonist, and he absolutely deserved his nomination.

So, should you see The Revenant? Absolutely. DiCaprio’s performance warrants it alone. Add to that the exceptional performance by Tom Hardy, as well as the captivating cinematography and visual effects, and there’s enough here to keep you interested. However, it is a very long movie, and almost unnecessarily so. I felt the length of this film, and I think the film would have been just as strong if it were 10-15 minutes shorter. If Inarritu had faith in DiCaprio’s performance, or in the beauty of the shots he already had, I think he’d have a much stronger film if he had just tightened it up. Instead, he really wanted to make sure that DiCaprio wins the Oscar, which he will. However, it’s possible that it might end up sacrificing the film as the winner of Best Picture.

Still, DiCaprio’s performance added some points back on.

FINAL GRADE: A-

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