The Revenant deserves just one critique right off the bat and its that Dicaprio’s face and hands look nothing like they would if Hugh Glass had returned in real life.
Look at the skin, complexion, and beards of men who live day to day in the sun, wind and rain and you see tough, dark tanned faces and gnarly hands.
Really with all the attention The Revenant gives to costumes and paraphernalia of the times, the fact that our star actor looks like he rode around most of the shoot in an SUV with sleeping unit is most unconvincing and a major distraction in the we gotta look at his face a lot.
I have considerable experience with people living in forests, the outback, and jungles and I know of what I speak. This oversight aside, DiCaprio and Hardy are brilliant in “The Revenant” and the former will no doubt finally win the Oscar.
But it is the cinematography and scenic design of the film, along with Ryuichi Nakamoto’s music, that leave you breathless, with particular set pieces that are indelible.
Iñárritu and his two-time, Oscar winning cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, are truly masterful, giving each frame a painterly quality that seem to be a composition of Frederic Remington and Amsel Adams.
Beyond being the greatest man-against-the-elements film I’ve ever seen, The Revenant is at once mythic and mystical, touching upon the human melding of both the sacred and the profane.
Finally, there is a degree of authenticity captured in this movie, of time and place, that is rarely seen or, perhaps more accurately, felt. It is that journey that keeps you on the edge of your seat. As though you were on one of the many frozen precipices depicted on the screen.
I would comfortably place this film among the best of the year.