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Oscars nominations: An impressive 12 (Best Film, Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio, Best Supporting Actor for Tom Hardy, Best Director for Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Make-Up and Hair, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects) 

Synopsis: Before the West was won, it was a frontier wilderness where nature’s rule of red tooth and claw reigned. Frontiersmen went out as trappers to get pelts from these vasts forests. Hugh Glass (Dicaprio) is an experienced tracker and is working for one company who has been out in the forest for months until they are attacked by the indigenous people. The survivors, led by Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson) have to find a way back to their fort, and when disaster strikes, Glass is left for dead in a shallow grave. Glass miraculously survives and makes his way through dangerous terrain, predatory wildlife, unfriendly French, and angry natives, driven by a lust for revenge against the man responsible for his woes.revenant-leo

How many Oscars is it going to win: There are three sure fire wins: Leonardo Dicaprio for Best Actor, Best Cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki, and Best Production Design. The Academy loves actors suffering for their statue, and Leo has literally made suffering an art form here. While he is not the greatest of Hollywood actors (he rarely delivers a line artfully), his amazing physicality here, his success in past roles, and his box office charisma mean he is set to win, especially in a year where all his rivals are rather mediocre. The movies sheer beauty will get Lubezki his third Oscar in a row for cinematography and will also reward Jack Fisk for production design.

Strong likelihoods for Oscars include Best Film, Best Director, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects, and Best Hair and Make-up, although the technical categories may be won by the brilliant Mad Max:Fury Road. The Best Film win has eluded The Revenant for other awards, but it did win the Golden Globe which bodes well for the Oscars. Iñárritu would have been a definite win any other year, but the fact that he won for Birdman last year might scupper his chances (No director has won consecutive year since 1949-1950 with Joseph L. Mankiewicz).

The Revenant won’t win for Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing; Fury Road really excels in these categories. Tom Hardy will not win either; his performance is worthy, but he has not been playing the Oscar game and doing the necessary circuits that winners need to make themselves known to Oscar voters. The man is just too busy.

Will you enjoy this contender: The audience for The Revenant is limited by how well a person can stomach gore. The world Iñárritu creates is extremely immersive, and he does not shrink from disgusting detail. Personally, I loved it as someone who loves wild vistas and the intricacies of life at the extremes. You have to watch The Revenant in the cinema though because I doubt it would be able to capture one’s attention on a smaller screen, being long and slow moving. This movie is a glacier, that may leave some people cold in its incremental movements, but it will change the landscape of film by its profundity.

The Revenant is showing in Cebu cinemas this weekend February 5-7, 2016.

Stefan Garcia
Zerothreetwo’s resident movie buff extraordinaire. Sober reflections on movies and today’s culture. Stay tuned for a new movie review almost every Friday.
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