A frontiersman named Hugh Glass on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s is on a quest for survival after being brutally mauled by a bear. (IMDb)
I don’t know about you guys, but if you would have told me that the same director (Alejandro González Iñárritu) did both this and Birdman, I wouldn’t have believed you. Where Birdman had characters talking a lot at a rapid pace, this had whole spans of time where not a single word was spoken. Where Birdman was known for its one shot technique, this will become known for switching back and forth from shots so wide (and beautiful) you could see whole mountain ranges to shots so close that breath, water, and blood got onto the camera lens. But damn, this is a beautifully shot movie. And even with those long wide shots, and whole scenes without dialogue, I was never bored. This is a feat considering this is a two and a half hour movie. Leonardo DiCaprio is really captivating as Hugh Glass. His singular goal is so clear throughout this and it’s just as much of a struggle to watch as it was for him to do it. Tom Hardy is unrecognizable as Fitzgerald. This isn’t a surprise considering he’s such a transformative actor, but it was still a wonderful performance regardless. I also really enjoyed Domhnall Gleeson (who is having a hell of a year) as the Captain, Will Poulter as Bridger, one of the other members of the company, and Forrest Goodluck as Glass’s son. I did get a tad worried that the various storylines and subplots weren’t going to get wrapped up, but they did, quite nicely in fact. All while witnessing the most brutal final fight I think I’ve ever seen in a movie. All in all, a riveting movie.