“The Revenant” is truly a masterfully crafted work of cinematic art

re_select_3.00001914 Leonardo DiCaprio stars in THE REVENANT, an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox. Copyright © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. THE REVENANT Motion Picture Copyright © 2015 Regency Entertainment (USA), Inc. and Monarchy Enterprises S.a.r.l. All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication.

Directed by: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Rated R for strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, sexual assault, language and brief nudity

Running Time: 2 hours and 36 minutes

Grade A



Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh

Glass Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald

Domnhall Gleeson as Captain Andrew Henry

Will Poulter as Bridger

Forrest Goodluck as Hawk

Paul Anderson as Anderson

Anthony Starlight as Arikara Chief

Melaw Nakehk’o as Powaqa

Arthur RedCloud as Hikuc

Luke Haas as Jones


We did what we had to do. He was buried right.

In 1823, fur trapper Hugh Glass and a quasi-military group working for the Rocky Mountain Fur Co. are deep in the unchartered American wilderness, exploring the Louisiana Purchase.  The film opens with them cleaning a large number of animal pelts. A Native American tribe, the Arikara (Ree), ambush the fur trappers.  The Arikara are searching for the kidnapped daughter of their chief. The trappers, led by Captain Andrew Henry, lose the majority of their party, but escape down a river and hide their pelts so that they can return to their camp more quickly. Unfortunately, Glass is mauled and gravely injured by a Grizzly bear protecting her cubs.  John Fitzgerald, who has survived attacks from Native Americans before, suggests that they put Glass out of his misery. Captain Henry refuses to give up on Glass and offers a reward to anyone in the party who will stay with him and provide a proper burial when the time comes.  Fitzgerald volunteers to help Bridger and Glass’s son, Hawk (a Pawnee), since he claims that he is concerned about the inexperience of the two boys. After another tragic event occurs, Fitzgerald convinces Bridger that Glass is dead, buries him alive, and heads to the camp with Bridger. Haunted by his past, Glass manages to regain enough strength to overcome increasingly life threatening odds with the sheer determination to exact his revenge on Fitzgerald. Glass isn’t afraid to die since he’s done it already, but he must navigate a hostile environment, a brutal winter, warring tribes and the injuries from the Grizzly mauling.

 2e4e8511e9d73d9e4269fd7e1e72b4cb8912402aAs long as you can still grab a breath, you fight. You breathe. Keep breathing.

 When there is a storm. And you stand in front of a tree. If you look at its branches, you swear it will fall. But if you watch the trunk, you will see its stability.

The Revenant is about the frontier, harsh wilderness and survival of a man (Hugh Glass) driven by revenge.  Revenant comes from the French term for ghost.  It means one that returns after death or a long absence.  Prior to watching the film, I heard about the intense, bloody and gory scenes.  Even though I was prepared, they were still difficult to watch.  However, I loved this film despite the brutality. The remote natural landscapes filmed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki are interwoven between harsher scenes of violence and survival.  One minute you are watching something a scene that you hope will be over soon and the next you see the ice crystals on a leaf as white water gushes in the background. This technique allowed the viewer to relax for a moment and take in the beauty of our land.  The close up views of the actor’s face allowing fog to form on the lens was clever and impressive. The sound effects were noteworthy as you listen to the snow crunch with every step.

bd994cd14a946b9ca7f9d8b69cde97dd618e0afbFilmed mostly in a remote part of the Canadian Rockies, Iñárritu’s takes us on a journey to the unchartered Northwest Territory where survival was a challenge every day.  The star of the film maybe Leonardo DiCaprio, but let us not forget Lubezki and his camera. The wide angle lens illustrates the remarkable splendor of the wilderness. It lets us to imagine the stark and frigid conditions of the unforgiving winter and striking beauty of the landscape.

The Revenant has already won a Golden Globe in the Best Picture Drama category along with Director Iñárritu winning Best Director and Leonardo DiCaprio taking home the prize for Best Actor in a drama. It leads the Oscar race with 12 nominations.  The Revenant is not for the faint of heart, but if you can get past a few violent and gory scenes, the film is well worth it.  ~A.S. MacLeod

All I had was my boy and he took him from me. You understand? He’s afraid. He knows how far I came to find him.

3e3fqp4Inspired by a true story, The Revenant is truly a masterfully crafted work of cinematic art. Academy Award winning director, Alejandro Inarritu, delivers in all categories of film making. First and foremost is the performance by the stellar cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio. The meaning of the French word “revenant” is ‘to return’ and ‘spirit or ghost’. Aptly, Leo returns to the silver screen and devotes his entire spirit into this film. His Golden Globe was justly earned by the eating of a bison’s liver, learning to fire a musket, and learning two Native American languages. I’m hoping that Leo’s 5th time is a charm to earning him the Academy Award for this dedicated performance. Equally impressive is the cinematography by Academy Award winning Emmanual Lubezki who recently won for Gravity and Birdman. He captured the visceral beauty of nature and the intense performances using the new 6.5k ARRI 65 camera. Another key component was provided by Academy Award winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto as his musical contribution emphasized the heartbeat of the film. Inarritu pulls it all together with an authentic screenplay, relentless action, and incredible attention to detail while creatively using flashbacks to portray an outstanding tale of survival and commitment. If you aren’t convinced that this may be 2015’s best film, then I highly recommend that you judge for yourself.  ~Movie Buffette








About Leigh Ann Rassler