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Why The Revenant is Oscar Worthy

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the Revenant, a thrilling tale about survival and revenge.  Leo is phenomenal as the character, Hugh Glass, a  man who is mauled by a bear, buried alive, and left for dead after witnessing the murder of his son by the hands of a rival fur trader (Tom Hardy). Despite his seemingly fatal wounds, the incapacitated Glass musters what little strength he has left to crawl out of his shallow grave, and begin his journey for revenge.
The Revenant has a lot going for it (but I’ll be honest, I came for The Leo), but the one thing that impressed me the most about The Revenant is that it’s a visually stunning movie.  The direction was very artistic – and of course it is – as it was directed by none other than the incomparable Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of last year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture and Best Director, Birdman (lead by the homie, Michael ‘My Batman’ Keaton). He really leaves his mark here, with long takes of brutally intense action sequences, and the unbelievably beautiful cinematography. There were scenes in this film that left me wondering a lot about all the hard work involved in its execution.  Much of the film contains visually awe-inspiring national geographic-like natural lighting, which made for some truly breathtaking moments that were equally matched by the gripping and grit-filled acting chops of DiCaprio.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but Leo doesn’t say much in this movie. I think Tom Hardy has more lines, so DiCaprio’s performance for the majority of this film is a physical one. And when I say physical, I mean dirt-filled mouth and performing in freezing waters physical. I really sat there and wondered how the hell he didn’t die of hypothermia in this film. Like, seriously, we could’ve been discussing the circumstances of his death instead of reviewing this movie, but we’re fortunately covering this film and his Oscar-worthy performance.

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Must. Win. Oscar.

This movie had some really great moments, but there were lulls in between the action.  Unlike, Alejandro’s Birdman, where the entire movie had a brisk pace and narrative, The Revenant slows things down during its dream sequences. They could’ve been hallucinations, too, I’m not really sure, but either way, I feel like they could have made the movie a tad shorter had they cut those parts out.
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But the lighting and sets were amazing, I mean, look at this.

At 2 hours 46 minutes, this movie is worth watching if you want to see why Leo is getting so much Oscar buzz, but I don’t foresee it being the movie to watch.  The film is provocative because of its feats in cinematography, but it’s a slow-cook towards a big pay off.
“But wait, Emilio! Is this movie winning the Oscar or not?”
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Yeah, man… is it?

What’s that? Is this movie Oscar-worthy?
Yes. Yes it is.  Of course it is!  This movie could win one of or any combination of Best Picture, Best Director, and/or Best Actor, but I’ll admit that it’s facing some pretty stiff competition.  Personally, I’m rooting for Mad Max: Fury Road.  If there was a movie that gave me life in the theater, it was Max.  Did Revenant give me life?  Here and there, sure. But it wasn’t Max.
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But we have Tom Hardy, so… what’s your point?

Let me stay on topic though.  For Best Picture, The Revenant is up against Bridge of Spies, directed by da gawd, Steven freakin’ Spielberg (winner of three Oscars); the aforementioned Mad Max: Fury Road; Spotlight (which has been making noise – even though I don’t know anyone who’s watched it); The Martian, directed by another gawd, Ridley Scott (who’s been nominated for Best Director three times); The Big Short; Room; and Brooklyn.  For Best Director, it is up against Mad Max: Fury Road, The Big Short, Room, and Spotlight.
Leonardo DiCaprio is nominated for Best Actor, and his chances look good. Eddie Redmayne won last year’s gold for his role in The Theory of Everything, but I haven’t heard much buzz about his performance in this year’s The Danish Girl.  Michael Fassbender, Byan Cranston, and Matt Damon are the other nominees vying for the Oscar, but I must say that Leo, who’s been nominated five times, has done enough in The Revenant to earn himself the Best Actor trophy.
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