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Alejandro G. Iñárritu and “The Revenant, ” starring Leo DiCaprio, announce themselves as big players with a breathtaking Trailer

The Revenant Leo DiCaprio

After Birdman won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography, you could certainly be forgiven for assuming that the Academy might not be the first thing on filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s mind. Yet, watching the Trailer for his new film The Revenant, the first thing you have to think of is how much Oscar is going to love it. Initially I’d been predicting voters to possibly take a break from Iñárritu, but this first look at the movie is so good that you can’t help but have it as a big contender, not just for Iñárritu, but for star Leonardo DiCaprio and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki as well. You’ll see the Trailer below, and I think you’ll agree…this is almost criminally good looking.

The film is an adaptation of the Michael Punke novel of the same name and concerns a fur trapper (DiCaprio) and his quest for vengeance after being betrayed and left for dead by his former compatriots. The less said besides that, the better…especially once you see how the Trailer tells this story. DiCaprio stars in the main role, with supporting players including Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, and Lukas Haas, just to name a few. Iñárritu is obviously in the director’s chair (as well as one of the producers), while the adaptation of the book is by him and Mark L. Smith. Also of note, the DP here is the legendary Lubezki, who might actually win another Oscar, if you can believe it.

If you take one thing from The Revenant’s first look, it’s how beautiful the film looks. The Trailer has no dialogue, just some visceral images that suggest something really captivating. Especially as someone who’s not as in love with Birdman as everyone else, this could very well be something that makes me finally fall in love with Iñárritu. His work with Lubezki is always going to be something terrific, but after the one shot trick last time, this one looks to be shot with only natural light, giving them another big challenge to play around with. We clearly can’t go on much here, but it looks like another home run. Obviously, DiCaprio could own the screen as well, but this initial glance at the flick is all about establishing the look from Iñárritu and Lubezki here.

Obviously, this is something with awards potential everywhere. We can start with Best Picture, Best Director (for Iñárritu), Best Actor (for DiCaprio), Best Supporting Actor (for Hardy), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Iñárritu and Smith), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. That could make for double digit nominations, with Picture, Director, Actor, and Cinematography having to be ones that you can’t really ignore. Hell, you could be forgiven for assuming they might be frontrunners now. It’s early, but this one has certainly left an impression on just about everyone who’s seen it over the last few days. I don’t know that it will do as well as Birdman, but anything is possible.

To be fair, it’s premature to bank on anything happening with the precursor season at this point, but The Revenant is in as good a position as any other 2015 Oscar hopeful can be right now. The Trailer has it now positioned to be even more hotly anticipated than it was before, which is really saying something. In the next few months, we’ll hear plenty about DiCaprio being due his first Academy Award, Iñárritu potentially repeating in Best Director, Lubezki winning his third Best Cinematography statue in a row, and other such storylines. We’ll see what happens, but this introduction to the flick has gone just about as well as can be expected. I’ll keep you all abreast on it, especially once the fall and winter come around, so sit tight…

Here’s the Trailer for The Revenant:

Stay tuned for much more on The Revenant throughout the course of the year!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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