Lucky 13 Film Club: The Revenant

the-revenant
Alejandro González Iñárritu and Leonardo DiCaprio

I am ready. Tom at http://www.digitalshortbread.com is ready. The Revenant is January’s topic on the 13th and everyone is welcome. I have daydreamed that Leonardo DiCaprio has called method actor and friend, Daniel Day-Lewis, to ask him about how to win that elusive Oscar. We have all heard the stories of DDL’s intense strategies to become the character. So Leo has eaten and climbed into raw carcasses, shivered in the cold, and been mauled by the bear. Some movie buffs like me are wondering if his dedication to the role will pay off. Add to the mystique of the film like director Alejandro González Iñárritu love for the tracking shot (Will he win 2 years in a row?) and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubeski (him, too) filming in natural light with the Arri Alexa 65 camera. Check out this interesting article by Matt Giles in Popular Science found  HERE.  The trailers alone assure me I will be dazzled by the natural setting. Filmed in Alberta Canada and Argentina? Yes, it will be a beautiful film but will the screenplay written by Mark Smith & EGI be solid?

I’ve read Michael Punke’s account of Hugh Glass, The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge, and the movie adaptation has an added subplot of Glass losing a son, thereby creating the motivation behind the revenge. This usually incites objections from purists who don’t like their history altered. Movies and books telling the same story are two texts, two different art mediums; I believe “based on a true story” means “swallow this with tablespoon of salt.”  As long as the historical climate is realistic, the merging of facts with fiction is a delicate balance of inspiration stressed by the author’s personal preferences. 

I recommend you check out this interview of Leo, go see the movie, and drop by on the 13th to add your opinion of this year’s surefire contender during award season. Thanks, Tom, for co-hosting this month’s discussion. 0001-60259980

41 thoughts on “Lucky 13 Film Club: The Revenant

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      1. Not sure when I’ll get to the movies ?! But from what I’ve seen, if u want to feel like your actually “in” some of those scenes this is the movie to see . Getting ready for vaca. So I’ll be back

  1. [sorry – off topic Cindy – lately a contact of mine has mentioned mistakes in certain war movies and I’ve wondered if you would want the link to those articles?]

  2. Cindy, I will certainly drop in for a read as I’m excited to see this film. Unfortunately it’s not on general release in the UK until the 15th Jan so I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to contribute (or indeed how much I want to find out beforehand!)

  3. I’ll be back for sure Cindy, even though I haven’t seen it yet. I didn’t know Leo asked Daniel Day-Lewis about how to win that elusive Oscar, hmmm not sure if there’s an actual formula but I wish him the best. Who’s the guest for this month btw?

  4. Not sure if you know this but Hugh Glass’s story was also the basis for the movie Man in the Wilderness (1971), with Richard Harris as Glass (renamed Zach). It’s a flawed but interesting movie. I’m curious to see how the new version compares to the old movie.

  5. I love the idea that LDC called up DDL for advice. Imagine being a fly on the wall for that conversation. Looking forward to the discussion, although sadly this isn’t released in the UK until January 15 (SO CRUEL!) so I’m not sure I’ll be able to add much value 😉

    1. I was daydreaming….who knows if he made the call! 😉 You are such a fine writer and I was hoping, actually, you’d partake in a future Lucky 13 Club topic as a guest conversational starter–in fact, for February, Ruth from Flixchatter is joining me to examine films featuring females in British comedy set in the 1930s– we are looking at 3 films– Being Julia, Gosford Park, and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day–care to join us? You are a fine feminist writer and I’d love your thoughts on the topic!

  6. Hi Cindy, once again — very appreciative of you sharing my thoughts. I know I was a bit giddy in my appraisal of it; I look a little foolish. 😉

    Umm, I was wondering something though. Is there a way to re-blog the Lucky 13th post? I was going to share it on DSb with my audience but for whatever reason I can’t seem to find the re-blog button.

  7. Did Alejandro González Iñárritu already win two years in a row. I don’t even remember him being nominated the year before last. I thought Alfonso Cuarón won Best Director in 2013. The truth is that I have mixed feelings about Iñárritu after his public insults of his fellow nominees in 2013 (even if he showed more class in later interviews). I think that he is a pretentious blow hard. I cant help it. He doesn’t show any class or appreciation for other people’s achievements. That said, “The Revenant” is an incredibly impressive film. It is vastly superior to “Birdman.” It deserved every nomination that it received.

    I think that your comparison of Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance to a Daniel Day Lewis performance is apt and interesting. I personally thought that it was a wonderful portrayal (and in difficult conditions). I am not sure it is realistic to expect most films to remain completely faithful to the “actual events.” It would be impossible to know the precise actual events. I am much more concerned about whether a film works on an artistic or dramatic level.

    1. Ouch. Big mistake on my part. Alfonso Cuarón did win for Gravity in 2013. I am more concerned with a good story and the fleshing out of complex characters. It’s easy to forgive mistakes if there’s a beautiful score (not that The Revenant has one) and a beautiful setting.

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