Recently, I had the privilege and the pleasure of seeing the highly anticipated survival/revenge film, The Revenant, and I have to say, it is certainly my favorite film of the year thus far. That being said, I have yet to see The Hateful Eight or Spotlight at the time this article was written, and from what I am hearing, those are 2 must watch films. Up to this point, among my favorite movies of 2015 are: Mad Max: Fury Road, Sicario, Ex Machina, Steve Jobs, and The Gift to name a few, but I can say confidently at this time that The Revenant is unequivocally the best that 2015 has to offer.
With Oscar season quickly coming to a close, I strongly recommend ordering a side of The Revenant with your hearty portion of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens later this December, and here is five reasons why you will not regret it.
1. Emmanuel Lubezki Looks to 3-Peat at the Oscars
Emmanuel Lubezki is probably the best cinematographer in Hollywood right now, or at least he is the most decorated in recent memory. Lubezki has taken home hardware from the Academy Awards the past 2 years for his work in both Gravity and Birdman respectively. I could talk all day about the incredible images on display in The Revenant, but I will spare you the details, and the spoilers, and leave it at this: both Lubezki and Iñárritu committed to filming this movie entirely in natural light, and while they both admitted that it was incredibly difficult, I believe that it was most certainly worth it.
2. Leonardo DiCaprio Hands in Career Performance
The bulk of this DiCaprio performance is physical, rather than verbal. So, if you were hoping for heartfelt Inception dialogue or a constant Wolf of Wall Street overdubbed narration, you may leave disappointed. Leonardo DiCaprio says very little in this two and a half hour film, but leaves a lasting impact on moviegoers. Leo does not need to say much to deliver not only the best performance of his long and successful career, but also the finest of the year. DiCaprio will not leave the Academy Awards empty handed in 2016, as I predict this is the year that he finally wins his first Oscar for Best Actor.
3. Based Off of a True Story... Sort of
Side note: luckily this poster has the definition of the word "revenant" printed, because I had no idea what it meant beforehand. All joking aside, the true story behind The Revenant is absolutely heartbreaking and harrowing. While not everything in this film depicts the events accurately, this movie portrays the guts of the story with authenticity.
4. Alejandro González Iñárritu
Coming off his critically acclaimed 2014 film, Birdman (in which he received the Academy Award for Best Director), Alejandro González Iñárritu is currently one of the hottest filmmaker names in the business. For those wondering if his followup to his career crown jewel would be a misstep, I can tell with confidence that it absolutely is not. Iñárritu helms a film in which incredible performances by an ensemble cast, award worthy cinematography, inspired story telling, and one of the finest film scores of the year come together to form a true cinematic masterpiece.
5. There is a Message (Despite What You May Read)
One negative I have read regarding the film from multiple critics is the fact that The Revenant does not have a strong underlying message to accompany this undeniably interesting story. For spoilers sake, I will not venture into my thoughts about potential subplots of The Revenant, but I will say this: I think that The Revenant makes interesting statements about the United States treatment of Native Americans, as well as the concept of both revenge and self preservation respectively.