By Preman Koshar || Arts & Entertainment Editor
Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, we have our Best Picture Oscar winner. The Revenant has long been predicted to be this season’s winner (though the race is not as one-sided as it usually is; The Martian still has potential, and somehow Spotlight won big at the SAG Awards a couple nights ago) and I’m going to have to agree with the pundits on this one. While I have not yet seen all of the nominees, I have seen all of the three favorites: Spotlight, The Martian, and The Revenant. And though The Martian was also very well done, The Revenant seems to me to be the superior film.
The Revenant, directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, is a profoundly visual film. The plot revolves around a man named Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), a fur trapper, who is severely injured after a bear attack in the great western wilderness and left for dead by one of his comrades, Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). He survives and plots his vengeance. What follows is one of the greatest cinematic experiences of the year. The cinematography is simply astounding. Every shot could be a poster or an Ansel Adams photograph. It is intense, terrible, and beautiful. Every shot is panoramic and there are multiple long shots that are filmed in a single take. Sometimes these single takes involve almost acrobatic cinematic feats, such as one notable shot that literally spun around a man in a full 360 degree circle and then proceeded on. Many single shots lasted over a minute, which is rare these days, especially for fast moving scenes. The opening scene in particular was fantastic in this regard. And DiCaprio’s performance is gritty and powerful. It’s very clear that he is on the edge of death, both physically and mentally. The Martian, while it has strong visuals, does not even come close to The Revenant’s awesome power. The only director that I think is at Iñárritu’s level is Paolo Sorrentino. The Revenant is magnificent and realistic and intense, and it completely outshines the other top contenders. The Revenant is The College Reporter’s pick to win the Oscar for the Best Picture of the Year.
Sophomore Preman Koshar is the Arts & Entertainment Editor. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.