Entertainment

DiCaprio film is brutally beautiful

Leonardo DiCaprio takes aim in a scene from “The Revenant.”
Leonardo DiCaprio takes aim in a scene from “The Revenant.” 20th Century Fox

What It’s About

A gritty wilderness survival tale turns into epic poetry in “The Revenant,” one of the best movies of 2015.

It must be seen on the big screen. Oscar-winning Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s masterful sense of visual artistry, combined with the breathtaking work of peerless cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, makes this frontier drama haunting and powerful.

Lubezki, who deservedly won back-to-back Oscars for “Gravity” and “Birdman,” might win his third, a record. He remarkably captures the beauty and harshness of nature.

Set in the 1820s and based on the true story of tracker and fur-trapper Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), this harrowing adventure is an unapologetically tough movie to watch.

Glass is hired by the Rocky Mountain Trading Co. to help navigate the wild west, and his half-Pawnee Indian son Hawk, comes along. Their knowledge of the land is valuable.

When Glass is savagely mauled by a Grizzly bear, he is left for dead by a duplicitous member of the party, John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Barely alive, he will use his wits and will to overcome the treacherous elements.

Glass is on a mission for revenge, and his recovery takes on a mystical, spiritual quality. He fights through ice, snow and predators.

Performances

Because of sparse dialogue and intense physical peril, the actors are challenged to convey dogged determination and resilience in new ways.

In an exceptional, raw display of his talent, Leonardo DiCaprio should win the Oscar — finally, after five losses. His body language alone is a marvel to witness.

As his adversary, Tom Hardy (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) shows why he is one of the best actors working today, delivering yet another strong character portrayal.

His Fitzgerald cares little about doing what is right, and when his deception finally catches up, the way he telegraphs his inner feelings through his eyes is sensational.

What Works

Watch and listen — the sights and sounds of this film are as majestic as they are brutal.

As a cinematic experience, it truly is stunning, and one people will be talking about all awards season and beyond.

What Doesn’t Work

Yes, it’s long. Yes, the bear attack is one of the most mercilessly vicious acts you will ever see.

But stay strong and dig deep, and you will be rewarded with a movie experience that will linger long after viewing.

‘The Revenant’

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter and Lukas Haas

Director: Alejandro G. Inarritu

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

156 minutes

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