The upcoming movie from Birdman’s Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu had its first press screenings in Hollywood last weekend and, while reviews are embargoed until 1 December, it wasn’t long before the lucky audiences were sharing their generally glowing reactions on social media.
The Revenant follows the real life story of 19th century fur trapper Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) as he battles for survival in the wilderness after being left for dead by his comrades following a horrific bear attack.
DiCaprio took part in a Q&A after the showing and confirmed that although conditions on set really were as hardcore as reported, he enjoyed the experience. “It was all a big beautiful blur to me,” the 41-year-old said. “This was such a unique process for all of us actors.
“We had to rehearse meticulously and it was this mad, intense scramble to capture this magic light, this previous hour and a half of beautiful illustrious ‘Chivo’ (cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki's nickname) light. It became very much like a humorous Saturday Night Live situation.”
Notably, DiCaprio does not have a lot of dialogue. “It was almost like a silent movie performance,” he said.
Director Mark Romanek called it “great” and filmmaker Cassian Elwes raved about its “magnificent scope” but warned fans to expect “two and a half hours of brutality” especially during the bloody mauling scene.
Lost’s Carlton Cuse was among many to declare that DiCaprio might well bag the Oscar after four previous but ultimately unsuccessful nominations, while screenwriter Max Landis branded The Revenant “the ultimate in cinematic overkill”.
Tom Hardy “puts a shade of fun” into the story as the villain, according to Mashable, but others found his supporting performance “slightly one note”. Regardless, the film reportedly earned a standing ovation from an often reserved and highly discerning awards season crowd.
The Revenant arrives in UK cinemas on 15 January 2016, with Oscar nominations announced the day before.
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