The film that may finally get Leonardo DiCaprio his Oscar is up for several Oscars itself – a dozen, in fact, including best picture. DiCaprio’s performance is just one of several aspects that make The Revenant not only a must-see, but also an award contender.
For those who haven’t seen it for themselves yet – or for all those movie-goes who wondered, “Who is that guy? What have I seen him in before?” – here’s a rundown to prep you for the Oscars.
The master behind The Revenant is Mexican film director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, and if you’re wondering why his name is always tied to the movie’s title and in general people keep making a big deal about him, it’s because he kind of is a big deal.
Many may not immediately recognize his name like they would Steven Spielberg or Martin Scorcese, but Iñárritu has some pretty big and critically-acclaimed films under his belt, including Birdman, Babel and 21 Grams. And he doesn’t disappoint with The Revenant.
Leonardo DiCaprio – Nominated for Best Actor
Forget teenage heartthrobs and suits and ties, Leonardo DiCaprio takes on an entirely different role as The Revenant’s main character, Hugh Glass. Shaggy, dirty and hardened, Glass is a man of the elements. Actions truly speak louder than words as he battles the odds. Maybe this raw performance will finally get Leo the Oscar.
Tom Hardy – Nominated for Best Supporting Actor
Leo did an amazing job in this film, taking center stage in most critics’ and movie-lovers’ discussions, but Tom Hardy’s performance deserves recognition as well. Playing Fitzgerald, the story’s “bad guy,” Hardy gives The Revenant important depth and diversity of character, delivering a performance to rival DiCaprio’s.
From his small role in the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers, to a slew of crime and mob-related movies, Hardy has steadily scaled the Hollywood ladder. In fact, The Revenant isn’t his first film with DiCaprio. You might remember Hardy from Inception. He was also the infamous Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, working again with one of Christopher Nolan’s stories. And Hardy is also in another Oscar contender for this year, Mad Max.
An Irish-born redhead, Domnhall Gleeson may be one of those faces you recognize, but can’t put a name to. With his role in The Revenant as the responsible and honorable Captain Andrew Henry added to his resume, that might be about to change.
Fans of the Harry Potter series might recognize his red hair from his role as Bill Weasley, while die-hard Star Wars fans may have picked him out in his Dark Side performance as General Hux in the highly anticipated new Star Wars movie (and yes, he’ll be back for Star Wars: Episode VIII). He also played the lead in Ex Machina and a supporting role in Unbroken.
Fittingly playing the boy who’s not yet quite a man in The Revenant, Will Poulter is a young face in the acting crowd. The 23-year-old has been in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the comedy We’re the Millers and The Maze Runner.
While a good movie needs good actors, and great movies include great performances, the most notable and wowing aspect of The Revenant is the scene. While much of the film was shot in the Canadian wilderness, scenes were shot throughout North and South America, all the way from Montana and Arizona, to Mexico and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
Superb cinematography, sound editing and directing allow you to not just watch the movie, but to experience it with every sense. You don’t just see the wild isolation, you hear it and feel it. You lose yourself to the beauty and peril of the vastness before you.
If you haven’t already, be sure to see this one on the big screen. It’s received Oscar nominations for directing, cinematography, film editing, sound mixing, sound editing, visual effects, production design and more.
See which awards The Revenant wins at the Oscars this Sunday.
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