I feel cold and dirty in the best way possible, after watching that damn trailer. This trailer is the definition of visceral. The anticipation for this trailer and this film is immense, and the standards are sky high considering the talent involved with the film. So, let’s grab our fur coats and pistols, and traverse the harsh and unforgiving trailer.
Leo ‘No Oscar’ DiCaprio
Let’s just say what everyone already is, Leo will most likely be getting his well-deserved Oscar this year. He stuns as Hugh Glass. There has been nothing he has done that looks quite like this. For a man of his caliber and expertise, he still manages to raise the standards of what an actor can do. This trailer showcases him as a man. He is simply a man thrown into the extraordinary circumstances that take place. Leo looks like he is really Hugh Glass experiencing the terror, physical exhaustion, anger, and harshness of the events occurring in front of him. Many actors and movies don’t portray events as they are happening in real time, but this trailer makes you feel as if this is all happening now, and each character, especially Leo, is simply reacting to them as if they are happening to them at this very moment with no prior knowledge or experience. For instance, just the close up of him clawing his way out of the mud makes you feel the pain and anger he is feeling in that moment.
He looks as if he is really experiencing the emotions they are trying to convey. It is honestly quite amazing to just see an actor give such a performance, and to then have this performance packaged into a 2 minute trailer without losing any of the magic. That is one hell of a feat that Leo and company perform quite seamlessly.
The setting of a movie plays a pivotal role in the film itself, but when nature plays a literal part in your film you better showcase it. Alejandro displays his setting masterfully. You can see the desolate landscape and feel the terror of being left to survive in such an environment. The locations used for the film are even more awe inspiring because they are real places. These are landscapes that were experienced by the actors and crew. They are places where people has suffered in real life, and where survival has been forged by those who call these places home. This really comes across with the way that Alejandro captures them.
Wow. Who else could make a movie such as Alejandro has? He uses the camera and creates shots a way that no one else has seemed to be able to do. There is an authenticity to his films that makes you feel immersed even when the scenes are fantastical such as in Birdman, or large scenes such as the one above. There are few filmmakers today that tell a complete story with just the shots they capture. The trailer only has little to no dialogue, but it tells you exactly what to expect from this story, what is going on, and what the themes are. This is an unbelievably difficult task to accomplish, and yet Alejandro does it with the finesse of a legend and a pro.
Equally impressive, is the fact that Alejandro is using nothing but natural light. Now this goes hand in hand with the importance of showcasing the settings, but it also helps express the rawness of the film. The trailer wants to convey the sense of visceral survival, and by showing you the events of the film as they’d appear as if you were there is just another layer to this amazing film.
Man vs. Man. Man vs. Nature. Man vs. Self. This is the extraordinary story of a man who has to face adversity from every angle imaginable. He is seeking revenge on his confidant and betrayer, played by Tom Hardy, gets mauled by a fucking bear, has to survive the harshness of winter in this environment, and must maintain his sanity as well as his will to live throughout it all. What a fucking amazing story. The story alone is enough to have me interested, but to see it now taking form in the trailer it is just beyond any expectation I ever had.
What Didn’t Work?
Nothing. Duh. Did you watch this trailer?
Wow. There is not much else to say other than sit back in astonishment of such a well crafted piece of art. I feel as if I’m witnessing the birth of a new Daniel Day-Lewis in Leo’s performance, as well as the birth of a new Spielberg in Alejandro’s masterful control over his shots. The pairing of both are enough to make me almost overlook Tom Hardy, and that’s insane to even think. I can’t wait for this film, and this trailer did nothing but shoot me over the moon with excitement and anticipation.
As always, let me know what you all thought below, and be sure to let me know what you thought about my assessment. Did you agree with the degree to which I praise both Leo and Alejandro? Did you think the trailer was just ok? or did you even hate it? Please be sure to follow me on Twitter @HaneyCasey, Moviepilot.com/HaneyCasey, and on my website SlackerNerds.com. Thanks for reading!