The Lucky 13 Film Club: The Revenant


Lucky 13 Film Club: The Revenant

Alejandro González Iñárritu and Leonardo DiCaprio

I am ready. Tom at 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



What’s the meaning behind the ending?  

Cobb (DiCaprio) wakes up from three layers of a dream, walks through security because of Saito’s magical phone call, acknowledges his dream team at the luggage carousel, sees the faces of his son and daughter, and then spins his totem and leaves the room. It wobbles but doesn’t fall. This closing shot has made view-goers in recent years question the reality of Cobb’s situation, and it’s one reason why I appreciate Christopher Nolan’s script and his message–thrilling movies with substantive scripts are why I love going to the movies.

Christopher Nolan: “I feel that, over time, we started to view reality as the poor cousin to our dreams, in a sense … I want to make the case to you that our dreams, our virtual realities, these abstractions that we enjoy and surround ourselves with, they are subsets of reality.”  (Ben Child, The Guardian, 5 June 2015)

I revisited the 2010 blockbuster Inception the other night and in the five years since its release, five things stood out this time:

Ken Watanabe as Sait,o Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Arthur, Leo as Cobb
  1. Chris Nolan’s script is intelligent; it’s a fine mind-bender, made more comprehensible when watched a second time. It’s fast paced; you’re pretty sharp in my book if you understood everything after one viewing. Check out these awesome NeoMam Studios INFOGRAPHS
  2. It is a fascinating thriller made more thrilling with Hans Zimmer’s pendulum swinging score.

3. The CGI stands necessary to the film’s effectiveness.  Who hasn’t wanted to climb Escher’s “Penrose Stairs”?

4.   CGI? Chris Nolan? Hans Zimmer? It’s a trifecta of repulsion for some. Why is that?

5. The two female actors, Ellen Page and Marion Cotillard, gave perfect performances. Where is Ellen Page these days? Marion’s Mal was sultry and haunting. It’s only a matter of time before Cotillard wins another Oscar. She’s fantastic in everything she does.

Have you seen Inception lately? What are you favorite scenes?


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