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Alejandro G. Iñárritu won the Oscar last year for Best Motion Picture in regards to Birdman. Whatever I thought of the personal message of the movie, I did enjoy it from a point of cinematography and editing. From after my first screening of Birdman, I wanted to see what Iñárritu could do with a genre film such as a western. How he would play with the landscape and portray the great old west on the canvas of a screen intrigued me. The Revenant is his swan song, better than Birdman in almost every technical aspect, and Alejandro is the only director to truly show off Leonardo DiCaprio’s ability as an actor.


Let’s state the obvious first, Leo is going to get an Oscar for this role. At the time of me writing this review, he’s already won a Golden Globe which is typically a good indication as to who is going to win the acting categories, at least. The other important performances given by Tom Hardy and Domnhall Gleeson are great, as well. Tom Hardy comes off as an understandable asshole meaning you know why he’s freaking out but want to punch the guy in the face and tell him to “man up.” Domnhall Gleeson, an actor who has been getting some noticeable caliber last year, really shines through the film.

Although the real star of the film is the cinematography and editing. What made Birdman so great is what makes The Revenant extremely intense. Iñárritu refuses to shake the camera or quickly cut away from moments of extreme violence emphasizing the brutality of the old west””a moment in an American history that wasn’t so long ago in the grand scheme of things. Emmanuel Lubezki’s use of natural lighting when filming in Canada was a brilliant choice, as well. After seeing it for myself, I can understand how grueling it must have been to shoot the film, but the process reaps rewards for the picture.

The Revenant is going to be a film that is talked about for a very long time throughout cinema history, and I might even go so far as to say the film is an instant classic. The half-Mexican in me loves the fact there’s probably going to be back to back Mexican directors winning Oscars for Best Motion Picture this year. You can go see The Revenant but brace yourselves; it’s a hell of a ride.

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