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The Case Against The Revenant

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  • FreemanGriffin
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    #209923

    Mine may or may not be a minority opinion, but I truly despise The Revenant. I give the film a grade of D. It doesn’t get an F because there are a few good performances (the two younger actors, D. Gleeson, and the indians are all fine, but underdeveloped) and there are a few random scenes that have some tension and coherency. But there are claims about indeginous rights that aren’t borne out by an actual watching of the movie. And the film is vile, disgusting, with unrootable characters (honestly, I wanted the bear to win – then it would have been a mercifully short movie), while there are some striking images in the movie, yes, the film doesn’t add up to a coherent whole. There is a good reason that the screenplay is not nominated; it’s not a good script. The single worst Oscar nomination this year is definitely the COSTUME DESIGN nomination for this movie. Clearly, the academy loves pretentious movies by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, but unlike Birdman (or, The Virtue Of Ignorance), this film won’t appeal to a wide enough swath of the academy for it to win Oscar (if it does win, I have to question the sanity of academy members!)

    The film is overlong – there are long movies that aren’t overlong, such as Children Of Paradise, The Godfather parts 1 and 2, Gone With The Wind, The Seven Samurai, etc. But this movie is such a slong through hell. It’s ugly, unremitting, vile, hyper-violent, and did I say UGLY?

    Leo’s performance, imo, is bad. It’s so bad I would put it up there with Wallace Beery and Victor McLaglen’s atrocious acting if he were to win (which it looks like he regrettably will) it would be, again imo, one of the worst acting wins ever in the history of the Academy Awards. (Tom Hardy is equally terrible). Grunting, groaning, poor interactions with other actors, dragging himself through mud and snow… physicality is NOT great acting for it’s own sake! It’s interesting to contrast Michael Fassbender’s very talkative brilliant phenomenal performance where he interacts well with his fellow actors (despite the fact that the character doesn’t – it’s his acting performance that makes those scenes work so well) – or Bryan Cranston, who interacts brilliantly with everyone in his movie. Cranston, Fassbender and Redmayne all deserve to win, and Damon is excellent too. (also, the dialogue in TR is often incomprehensible – they needed subtitles for the english speaking actors!)

    Inarritu’s films, imo, are always pretentious. There is something very pompous about Inarritu’s directing style, writing, and choices he makes with his actors.

    While the film has some striking images, I don’t think the cinematography is anywhere near the best of 2015. (Out of the Oscar nominees, Robert Richardson’s work on The Hateful Eight was rich and full, despite the film not being all that great – and Ed Lachman’s beautiful lyrical camerawork was extremely memorable and draws us in to the material).

    But my case against The Revenant has to do with how many academy voters will actually go for this hyper-violent, ugly, disgusting movie? I think many women won’t vote for this, many older male members of the academy, more politically minded liberals will go for either The Big Short or Spotlight. I suspect there is a chunk of younger voters who will go with the insipid Mad Max: Fury Road.

    I suppose they might prefer pretentious direction to lean appropriate direction – there are 3 deserving nominees for Best Director this year who all delivered terrific emotionally satisfying superb movie experiences (The Big Short, Room and Spotlight)

    I truly hated The Revenant. While I may be in the minority with this opinion, I am certain there are many academy members who are my age or older who won’t go for this film. I think Spotlight is the “safe” choice for BP. I’m predicting it.

    I am hoping the academy rejects this awful movie when it comes to the actual awards. I know they love it enough to give it 12 undeserved nominations, but like American Hustle (0-for-10) I am hoping TR will get the same deserved fate.

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    babypook
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    #209925

    Well  er thanks Freeman for your take on this….and here I’ve been working up the courage to see it.!

    Do you know how this film skews in terms of men, women, and age groups? I’m afraid to check even that.

    I dont wish to sound all “girly” or anything, but I just cannot handle this kind of stuff. Cant.

     

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    FreemanGriffin
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    #209926

    ^I meant fort BP.

    babypook, the film is ncredibly violent, gory, disgusting – animal cruelty throughout, bloody, truly vile – I wonder if animals were harmed in the making of the movie? Likely so…

    The few women in the movie are largely silent and all Indian women. There is a rape scene (not too graphic). There is very little dialogue in this movie and the women hardly say anything at all (and they have very little screen time or presence). This is a male movie.

    As far the age of the characters, there are some elderly indians – women are younger than the men in the movie. Or did you mean the audience? I saw it with white people, mostly in their 30’s…

    Several friends who don’t like violent movies really ought to stay away from this movie. It’s dreadful.

    I continue to hope that academy members vote for the other actors in the Lead Actor category. Good grief!

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    Wombat988
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    #209927

    I wouldn’t say it’s that bad, but it’s far from the masterpiece many are claiming it to be. It’s an incredible feat of technical filmmaking, I’ll give it that. It looks incredible, and Luzbeki is wonderful behind the camera. 

    I feel the problem (that I’ve heard from many critics) is that films generally receive a more positive response when seen on the big screen. I found that at around half way through the film started to run out of momentum and turned into a slog. This wasn’t helped by how overlong the film was. Leo does a great job with what he is given, but his character is woefully underwritten, with the ‘artsy flashbacks’ doing very little to provide any insight into his character. I agree that there’s a good reason it didn’t get a screenplay nomination, but the striking visuals will be what sticks in people’s minds when they leave the cinema.

    I think another factor it has against it at the Oscars is the fact that Innaritu won big last year, so they’re in no hurry to award him again. I won’t be unhappy when it inevitably wins best actor (though I preferred Fassbender) and cinematography, but it does not deserve the wins for picture and director that the Hollywood Foreign Press rushed to give it.

     

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    Logan
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    #209928

    Many animals killed and often viciously so.

    My main issues (spoilers included and in no particular order):

    1) The bad effects. The clearly fake elk/buffalo/bear. Must have been the same visual effects team from The Tree of Life (dinosaurs, anyone?)
    2) The ridiculous amount of shit Leo survives and yet, somehow, even after he’s been malnourished and all that, he’s still strong enough to whip able bodied Hardy’s ass at the end…….
    3) Hardy’s an “elk” —huh? Suddenly he’s described as an “elk” when, if anything, he’s been a lone wolf this whole time/never seemed intimidated by anything before the last second, unconvincing character change. More annoying and inconsistent than anything
    4) DiCaprio’s wheezing and drooling for 80% of the performance. His voice/that “deep” voice sounded like such a put-on/affectation. He’ll win but it’s pure suffering/Anne Hathaway bullocks
    5) Leo’s Jesus, Mel Gibson resurrection (basically done a couple of times (like being in that horse) for no apparent, redundant reason)
    6) “Won’t bring your son back” ending…….I came to that conclusion 80 minutes earlier and now I’m suppressing vomit because DiCaprio is literally staring the audience in the face like…”consider this profound realization”
    7) Seeing the son killed/justifying the revenge plot. So routine. Again, so much unnecessary suffering that we’re forced to watch that character go through just to make us feel bad for him
    8) These “scenes of peril” were just undramatic because we know he has to face Hardy in the end…..simply, I know he’s not going die so these scenes aren’t worrying me
    9) Becomes a martial arts movie once we get to that Native guy that heals him/eats snowflakes with him. His “master” heals him up….and like the good person of color in cinema he is, he restores the white man and dies shortly afterwards
    10) Literally finding a woman as she’s being raped, so he saves her and we like his character more…..sensing a pattern here?
    11) The cast is totally uneven. No control or rangling over those performances
    12) Those random talks in caves that interrupt the action….so many stories…. We learn Gleeson’s wife story and then he dies soon afterwards…why? so we feel badly for him?
    13) The personality-less, floating wife…..

    If this was just trying to pass itself off as fantasy/star wars, fine, but this announced itself as “inspired by true events,” and then we see the Natives/there’s real world talk of the time/the fogging of the lens to make it seem “so real.”– I had too hard of a time accepting these jumps in logic. No consistency. Multiple films in one. I’d like it more if Alejandro was making some undercover comedy and the joke’s on people thinking he was being serious.

     

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    Damiansport1
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    #209929

    Cant agree. For me its beautiful film, i have never seen anything quite like that. Lubezki’s cinematography is probaby best ever.
    Great acting, DiCaprio was fantastic as always. Hardy is top actor and deserved his first nominations. Screenplay is the weakest point but still not bad.
    There was some mistakes but still i enjoyed it and gave it 9/10.

     

    Revenant already won 3 Golden Globes, is on its way to 150M Domestic in Box Office which nobody expected and has locked 2 oscars (Leo and Lubezki). So is already huge succes.

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    kvothe_snow
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    #209930

    Right now, things are very much in favor of ‘The Revenant”. Regardless of what you think about this movie, the narrative behind Leo’s possible win, the box office success, the recent GG win, and the 12 Oscar nominations all elevate this movie’s momentum. In the last 8 weeks, we’ve seen the frontrunners switch places, from Spotlight to Mad Max to The Big Short, and now to The Revenant. Not sure if we will be expecting another shake up, but The Revenant is in the strongest position right now. We know the rest of the contenders are just filler nominees. 

    So unless something crazy happens – like some backlash against Inarritu – The Revenant may be the runaway winner for Best Picture (although in my heart of hearts, I hope that the guilds will vote solidly for MMFR and Miller) 

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    Anonymous
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    #209931

    The possibility of a reigning winner winning back to back, and the reviews being good not great (would be the worst for a BP winner since Crash) with the film being 22nd on critics’ T10 lists, hopefully help make this lose.

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    DominicCobb
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    #209932

    I loved the Revenant but I don’t think it will win. The only movie this brutal in recent memory that won BP was No Country For Old Men, and that had the Coen overdue factor going for it (same goes for the Departed and Scorsese actually the year before). Inarritu is the exact opposite of overdue.

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    DamianWayne
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    #209933

    If this was just trying to pass itself off as fantasy/star wars, fine, but this announced itself as “inspired by true events,”

    Because this is based on true events. Hugh Glass was a real person, these things actually happened to him, etc.

     

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    Manuel Colon
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    #209934

    I am against the film too, the story it’s just not interesting. Iñárritu’s films are not for everyone, i feel like you need to be a little more passionate and maybe intelectual to get his movies, and in that case i’m hella dumb, because i really don’t like his films.

    If he won two years in a row, dear lord. Two years of winning for non deserving work. 

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    Logan
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    #209935

    [quote=”LoganKM”]If this was just trying to pass itself off as fantasy/star wars, fine, but this announced itself as “inspired by true events,”

    Because this is based on true events. Hugh Glass was a real person, these things actually happened to him, etc.

     

    [/quote]Just because someone said these things happened to them doesn’t mean it did and from a filmmaking perspective, you need to make your audience think that a person could survive this. DiCaprio is mauled by a bear for close to 7 minutes, ripped apart, basically goes white water river rafting (minus the kayak or whatever would be used), being slammed into rocks, is starving, literally falls off a cliff (there’s a reason the horse dies in that incident, since that’s what is supposed to happen in real life). You’re telling me a person survives all of this in a brief period? As shown as violently as it all was in the film, the whole thing’s laughable.

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    Tony Ruiz
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    #209936

    Actually, if you read Glass’s actual story, the things he endured were actually far worse than what happened to DiCaprio in the film. 

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    Atypical
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    #209937

    The trailer made the violence seem very CGI/video gamey to me. Wouldn’t PETA be out in force if many animals were killed and tortured during the making of this film? Anyway, I’ll force myself to see it this weekend sometime.

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    Sagand
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    #209938

    I must admit I was bored and impressed by this film in equal measure. I don’t see how anyone could have watched it and not find it visually stunning, but that only carries the film so far. At a certain point I wanted a more purposeful plot.

    I’d read the book before seeing the film and the book annoyed me for the opposite reason, the book has a bunch of events in the journey the film seems to ignore and does a better job of telling the story of the rest of the troop but doesn’t dwell too much about the philosophy of the situation whereas the film forgot to put in any developed characters or plot points as it wanted you to think about survival instincts and purpose of revenge for 150 minutes. 

    I am predicting it to win at the moment just because I trust in the academy’s ability to pick the worst option in front of them. It certainly deserves technical plaudits, but for Best Picture I’d rank it 7 of 8 (ahead of Brooklyn).  

    If it were to win best picture it would be the first film not to be nominated for either screenplay at the Oscars or at WGA since the WGA awards were created. (Titanic and The Sound of Music both were WGA nominated.)

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