There are a lot of things that make The Revenant an unconventional Oscar movie as well as the typical Oscar nominee. However, the good outweighs the bad. While most look at the movie and see Leo, I see what is a techinically perfect movie. Its cinematography is rich and had depth in the background and foreground with excellent detail on everything. Each shot is a painting that I wouldn’t mind putting on my wall. Each shot puts you in the era without technology and is a window into the frontier. All of the film is massive in scope and is naturally lit, which it made all the more realistic by this cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki.
The sound is masterful, capturing nature in all of its capacity and is absolutely stunning. The bear attack jabs and is made more realistic by this sound. I can’t remember ever being more connected to nature while not actually being in a natural surrounding.
However, while it may have all the behind the camera techniques perfect, the story is just okay. The story of survival is an interesting journey to take, especially with DiCaprio being the lead. He turns in one of the best performances he has had in years. But the story lacks the depth necessary for a film like this. It’s pace, recognizably the first hour and a half, is painfully slow. However the second pace picks up and becomes preposterously fast and interesting, the character just needs time to breathe.
As for the supporting characters, Tom Hardy is despicable, Will Poulter is likable and Domnhall Gleeson is average yet more likable than Poulter. They do what they are meant to do, and nothing more, it is only DiCaprio is pushes the limits.
This movie is a good movie verging on greatness, it just needed to do more and trim it a few unnecessary scenes. 7.5/10
Now for the ending, SPOILERS are beyond this point.
The story lacks depth until this movie ends, where it shows rather then tells, which leaves the ending up to the reader or in this case viewer. In this case it is the act of savagery and revenge that occurs when DiCaprio and the Sioux take revenge on Hardy. Hugh Glass leaves it up to God, or nature. An immutable force and chooses right. It’s the most satisfying ending I’ve seen in years.