A couple of years ago, The Revenant and Birdman director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu shared some particularly severe opinions about the prevalence of superhero films, referring to them as “cultural genocide.” Ouch. But Ben Affleck disagrees, and having been on both sides of the equation, the actor and director is in a position to offer an informed but diplomatic response.
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
The Revenant is a film that expresses more through visuals and atmosphere than dialogue or character development alone.
IT FINALLY HAPPENED. Leonardo DiCaprio has won his very first Academy Award. Whether you were rooting for or against ‘The Revenant’, whether you think he deserved the award for his grunting and groaning as Hugh Glass or just wanted him to win a damn Oscar already, it doesn’t matter. He’s officially in the Oscar club now.
Alejandro G. Iñarritu just made Oscar history. ‘The Revenant’ filmmaker took home the Academy Award for Best Director on Sunday, the third time in the awards’ history a director has won in two consecutive years. Joseph L. Mankiewicz was the last director to win the award back-to-back in 1950 and 1951, following John Ford’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ and ‘How Green Was My Valley’ wins in 1941 and 1942, respectively.
This year’s awards season has been a special treat due to the absence of a clear-cut frontrunner, with The Big Short, Spotlight, The Revenant, and Mad Max: Fury Road all in relatively close competition — up until very recently, at least. While early nominations were split between these four heavy-hitting movies, The Revenant has broken out in recent weeks as the various awards-giving bodies have had their ceremonies. Artistic intention be damned, the sheer technical bravado of Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s western may be enough to push it through to a big victory on Oscar night, if last night’s showing at the BAFTAs is any example.
After The Big Short took home the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards and Spotlight won the highest honor at the SAG Awards, the Oscar race seemed to be narrowing itself down to these two ensemble dramas. But in case you’ve forgotten that Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s The Revenant won Best Director and Best Motion Picture (Drama) at the Golden Globes, Iñárritu’s frontier revenge drama has now taken home the prize for Best Feature Film at the Directors Guild of America Awards, firmly cementing its place in the 2016 Oscar race.
We’re in the middle of an Oscar season that’s more unpredictable than ever before, especially following Sunday’s particularly nutty Golden Globes. But in all the unknown, one possible indicator has appeared to (hopefully) make our Academy Awards forecasts a little easier.
When Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant fades to black, you see a very unusual credit wedged between the familiar titles: “Based in part on the novel by Michael Punke.” Not “based on,” but “based in part.” And then it clicked. This was why...
The Revenant has sold itself in trailers as a story of revenge, but to hear director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu and screenwriter Mark L. Smith tell it, this is a movie about a “spiritual journey.” We’ll have to wait another week to see if that’s what audiences ultimately take from the film, but according to Smith, The Revenant wasn’t originally conceived as a revenge tale — it was something a little different, and a little more interesting.
How good does a movie have to look to offset its other deficiencies? The Revenant is as beautiful a movie as has ever been made. The photography by master cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki is inconceivably gorgeous; sweeping wide shots that juxtapose tiny, insignificant men against the overwhelming grandeur of nature, close-ups so intimate they seem like invasions of the actors’ privacy, and action sequences of shocking violence.