The topic of why Leonardo DiCaprio has yet to win an Oscar, over his nearly 3 decade-long career seems to come up every award season. This year, the Academy Awards will be held in late February and hosted by comedian Chris Rock. As award season approaches, both the public and film critics alike, are all wondering if 2016 may finally be Leo’s year to win that sought-after golden statue.
This Christmas, audiences will screen The Revenant, a historical epic directed by iconic Mexican filmmaker, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman, Babel). The film’s trailer looks amazing. Both audiences and critics seem to enjoy Inarritu’s sense of cinematic magical realism. His ability to capture amazing performances from his array of favorite actors seems to lead to a flurry of nominations. Last year, Birdman, which Inarritu also co-wrote, was nominated, and took home an array of awards, including Best Picture. This is just one of the many reasons that 2016 may indeed by the year that Leo is finally recognized for his extraordinary cinematic repertoire. Leo has been nominated for Best Actor 3 times (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Aviator, and Blood Diamond) and Best Supporting Actor once (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape). He’s also been in an insane amount of movies that we all know and love. In addition to The Great Gatsby (2013), Inception (2010), Titanic (1997), Romeo + Juliet (1996), and Revolutionary Road (2008), he’s also starred in a slew of films directed by acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese, after the director embraced him as his post-Robert Di Niro muse in films like The Departed (2006), Shutter Island (2010), and Gangs of New York (2002). So what makes this year different? Well, even before hitting the big screen The Revenant is being touted as Leo’s most Oscar-worthy film because both the story, and the process of filming, are just so intense. The powerful tale is based on a 2002 novel of the same name, written by Michael Punke. The word revenant means one that returns after a death or a long absence – there’s no doubt that Leo experienced a kind of rebirth during filming. The story revolves around legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), who while exploring the wild Dakota territory of the early 19th century, is attacked by a bear. His hunting team leaves him for dead and advertently murders his only child. Yet, Glass doesn’t die, he survives harsh weather conditions and the injuries he’s sustained during his brutal attack. Motivated solely by revenge, he begins an agonizing trip back to civilization to kill the men that left him behind. Also starring Tom Hardy (Mad Max: The Wasteland) and Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina), the film is already being criticized for its brutality, both human and natural.
The Revenant will undoubtedly be a story of man versus man, man v. nature, and man v. self. Filming took place in remote locations throughout Argentina and the Canadian wilderness. Apparently the crew shot in 30-below-temperatures, leading some of its veteran staff to quit in the middle of production. In addition to intense filming conditions, Leo also took it upon himself to get into character by sleeping inside a dead animal carcass and eating raw bison liver. Apparently DiCaprio seems to think he’s never been through a more trialing, more rewarding, acting experience. If ever an actor deserved a small golden statue, it’s Leo. The Revenant seems as if it’ll be an epic film, unlike others in recent years. With its critically acclaimed cast and Inarritu directing, it seems as if the odds are in Leo’s favor, but only time will tell.
Check out the Trailer, and make sure to catch the film on December 25th.