THE REVENANT:  The title refers to "one who returns from the dear."  And that is exactly the theme of this hauntingly beautiful film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  Director Alejandro Inarritu, in his first outing since his Oscar winning "Birdman," pulls no punches in this gritty tale of a fur trapper in the early 1800's who is badly mauled by a bear.  While he is near death from his wounds, one of his fellow trappers (Tom Hardy, in a standout performance) agrees (for a fee) to stay behind and give him a proper burial when the times comes.  He soon becomes impatient and with DiCaprio's son standing in his way, he kills the boy and, taking matters into his own hands, drags DiCaprio to a shallow grave, burying him.   But this mountain man is tough and he survives, literally clawing his way across the wilderness to exact his revenge.  Shot in the Canadian Rockies in a very cold winter, the weather is palpable.  You can feel what agony the actors must have gone through to achieve this remarkable undertaking which has paid off in Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor.  Oscar nods will surely follow for those two slots as well as Cinematography.  While I highly recommend this film, be forewarned, there are scenes that will make you cringe and avert your eyes (the Indian raids and the final confrontation) but they are soon replaced by scenes of breathtaking beauty.  While the film is long at nearly two and one-half hours, it is worth every second.   This is movie making at its pinnacle.  An art form that is brilliant in all departments.

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