Top 100 Films Of The 2010’s – #58 – The Revenant (2015)

RELEASED: 15th January 2016

DIRECTOR: Alejandro González Iñárritu

CAST: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck, Arthur Redcloud, Grace Dove, Paul Anderson, Brendan Fletcher, Kristoffer Joner, Melaw Nakehk’o, Duane Howard, Brad Carter, Lukas Haas and Tyson Wood

BUDGET: $135m


AWARDS: 3 Academy Awards (Best Actor, Best Director and Best Cinematography), 3 Golden Globes (Best Actor Drama, Best Director Drama and Best Film Drama) and 4 BAFTAs (Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Sound and Best Film)

A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.


The Revenant places us in the 1820’s where we follow a group of hunters and trappers out hunting for pelts in the wilderness of the Louisiana Purchase. We mainly follow Hugh Glass, an experience explorer and hunter, as he ends up being brutally attacked by a bear and is left for dead by members of his hunting team. We follow Glass’s desire to not only survive, but struggle through an exhausting revenge on the man that betrayed him the most, John Fitzgerald.


Alejandro González Iñárritu has had an interesting decade, starting off with feature Biutiful and ending it in 2015 (with the exception of a few shorts) with The Revenant. The film may come off with a simple tale of vengeance in a western genre setting, but it carefully takes its time to develop the characters first before we get to the inevitable act of betrayal as we know the reasoning behind the actions. There’s some excellent sequences that are executed here thanks to Iñárritu’s direction and Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography (especially as he uses natural light to his advantage), particularly in the opening scene of the company’s camp being ambushed by Native Americans, to Glass being attacked by a grizzly bear and Glass being driven over a cliff on a horse as he tries to outrun the tribe of Native Americans. On a technical level, the film is magnificent, and thankfully its performances more than match it onscreen. Leonardo DiCaprio has to rely on portraying the character with numerous grunts, eyes and body movements to give the audience emotion that he can’t convey with words initially after the grizzly attack and he does a terrific job in doing so as we go on witness this man being battered down by the elements of nature, as well as mankind. Tom Hardy’s performance as John Fitzgerald is very good here, a man whose been weary of another attack by the Arikara and thus believing that Glass needs to be put out of his misery in order for all of them to survive. Hardy has that aurora of menace about his character, making you wondering what’s going on in his head, even in the moments when he’s completely quiet. The supporting cast is solid as well, such as Domhnall Gleeson as company Captain Andrew Henry, Will Poulter as the young and naive Jim Bridger, Forrest Goodluck as Glass’s son Hawk and Arthur Redcloud as Hikuc, a Pawnee refugee that encounters and befriends Glass.


FAVOURITE SCENE: As impressive as the opening sequence is, it’s obviously going to be Glass going up against the bear scene.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: “Wait till morning, he’ll have a day’s head start and get away.

No he won’t. He’s afraid. He knows how far I came for him. Same as that elk, when they get afraid they run deep in to the woods. I got him trapped, he just, He doesn’t know it yet.

How can you be so sure?

Cause he has everything to lose. All I had was that boy…and he took him from me.” – Andrew Henry and Hugh Glass

DID YOU KNOW: Due to production being behind schedule, the snow melted during the location shoot in Canada before filming was complete. With summer rapidly approaching, there was no choice but to relocate the entire production to southern Argentina, where there were similar wintry conditions.

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