A new classic hit the screens this weekend that wins my vote for the best film of 2015.
Oh I know-that title already went to Mad Max in this space. Since posting my Best of 2015 list, I have two new additions, the first of which shares the top of the Red Chronicles pedestal.
The Revenant is epic. Full stop. Go see it in the theatres. This is not one for the couch no matter how big a TV screen. You won’t see a trailer posted here because I’m not into spoilers and the trailer is full of them. The folks who make those teasers should be scolded for giving away entire plot turns.
Here’s what you do need to know: There is a bear attack that will forever force a rethink about your next walk in the forest. The first hour alone is unrelenting edge-of-your-seat stuff. As frontier tracker Hugh Glass, Leonardo DiCaprio is just plain badass. Left to die alone in the wilderness, his character must trek 200 miles by foot to exact revenge on his companions who abandoned him. I may have hated his stunts in Wolf of Wall Street-here I’ll give him the statue just for the way he gets his teeth into a buffalo liver.
Oscar-winning director Alejandro Iñárritu put his entire cast through hell in his five year attempt to bring this true story to the screen; 40 below zero shooting conditions in Alberta, then later Argentina when an unseasonable warm spell forced the shoot south; shooting in natural light in the the wild-the cinematic elements of this film make most of what I’ve seen on film this year look like pablum. There are extreme close-ups and silent panoramas broken only by a stunning score breaking in at moments that left me gasping. As profound as it is brutal, The Revenant is a masterpiece. Not for wimps.
Go prepared for a glorious onslaught of truly bold and creative filmmaking. Go too for my man Tom Hardy who has never been as menacing or mesmerizing as he is here, although he might want to consider a love story next to mix things up, no? Charlize Therzon stole his thunder in Mad Max. Here, Hardy and DiCaprio are formidable.
My other new addition, seen after writing my best of the year post, is Inside Out.
And yes, this trailer passes as it is only a hint of the wonder and magic behind this Pixar gem.
We cried, the Friendly Greek and I. Yup. You try watching this magical coming of age film as a parent of young adults who grew up in seconds. Living inside Riley’s head for a while is one trippy adventure far different than the one offered up by The Revenant, but as deeply moving. My seven year old nephew told me he didn’t like the movie much and I don’t blame him-this is a film with only surface appeal for children under ten. Like all the best titles in the Pixar library, Inside Out is a film adults will love, especially those who remember having an imaginary friend. As Bing Bong, Richard Kind is the heart of the story in a cast of massive talent. Here’s a peek at the characters.
Truly inventive and complex, this is beautiful animation and the very best kind of head trip.
Look for both of these titles to show up at tonight’s
celebrity drunkfest Golden Globe awards, and later this week when Oscar nominations are announed.
Meanwhile, I’ll be at TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten which continues through Jan.17th.