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The Revenant 

Wednesday, Jan 6 2016
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Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant is a classic story told in a very brutal and beautiful way. Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a tracker on a fur-trapping expedition in the Rockies during the winter of 1823 who, after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by Texan nozzle John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), goes through (even more) hell to exact revenge. Based on a probably-mostly-true story, it’s a narrative that’s been told countless times — because it works. What’s astonishing is the fluid, unblinking way Iñárritu tells it, shot with natural light in deeply inhospitable locations and with relatively few edits. The gliding, wide-angle camerawork is immersive in a way that Iñárritu’s similar style in Birdman was distancing, bolstered with an astonishing, you-are-there sound design; if you’re inclined to close your eyes during the scenes of extreme violence, you’ll still feel like you’re in the most dangerous place in the world, just with your eyes shut. It’s fundamental to resurrection-and-revenge stories, but Glass’s ability to withstand so much abuse, including and beyond the extreme bear domination The Revenant is already famous for, goes from darkly comic to deeply ironic. His name may be Glass, but motherfucker will not break — and even if he does, he’ll just become that much more dangerous.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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