A relentlessly brutal saga of survival and revenge set in the wintry wilderness of the American West, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant is an impressive piece of work, but frankly, it left me cold (pun unavoidable). I can’t deny the impressive physical achievement the director and his gifted cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, have created under the most severe conditions imaginable, but I’d rather watch the making-of documentary than the picture itself.
Pundits have been predicting an Academy Award for Leonardo DiCaprio since springtime, and he doesn’t disappoint, delivering a rugged performance as a native guide that bespeaks a level of commitment any actor would be proud of. He is matched by an almost-unrecognizable Tom Hardy (sporting a perfect American accent) as a conniving trapper. They are completely credible as mortal enemies who will not give in until the last breath has left their bodies.
I also have a serious issue with a key plot point in the film, when an officer played by Domhnall Gleeson puts his trust in a character who has shown himself to be unreliable if not downright scummy. Not only does this make no sense, it undermines the rest of the story.
I don’t mean to minimize the work that went into this film, but Oscars shouldn’t be handed out on the basis of an actor’s (or director’s) endurance skills. Or, for that matter, a moviegoer’