Hello and welcome to the movie blog of author John DeFrank - FilmZ and Guy Sobriquet Malone - Researcher

The Revenant

My son Brian has been eager to see The Revenant, so he and I went.  It was an excellent film, and I can recommend it strongly, with the warning that it is grim, humorless, with graphic violence, and about fifteen minutes too long, and I have no desire to see it a second time.

So, why do I recommend it?  It is a work of art that you can't look away from, a film that has to be seen on the big screen. The cinematography and editing make it a beautiful and immersive experience.  It felt like I was part of the film rather than a viewer, and the scene transitions are wonderful.  Instead of cutting or fading, the camera focuses on the wind whipping a storm across mountain tops, or snow dripping from tall pines.  There are also some, "How did they get that?" shots: a close-up of ants climbing on top of each other to get from one rock to another; an avalanche on a distant mountain, perfectly framed during a climactic scene.  God, it's gorgeous!

The cast is great: Leo will finally get his Oscar (though he has been better in other films, like Gilbert Grape and Django).  Tom Hardy is typically amazing, disappearing into his character.  Domnall Gleason (who has been in every movie this year), and Will Poulter as the young (famous mountain man) Jim Bridger, provide admirable support.

The Revenant would be a neat double feature with Jeremiah Johnson, and it is similar in beauty and tone to Sicario.  I'm guessing it will unseat Spotlight as the Best Picture favorite.  As a work of art, The Revenant deserves the esteem; however, as a movie, I prefer Sicario, Spotlight, and a few other films we've seen this year, including several not nominated for Best Picture.

7 out of 10


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