By Dan Clendenin

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The Revenant (2015)

This period piece by the Mexican director, producer and writer Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, Biutiful, Birdman) led all movies with twelve Oscar nominations in 2016. It also won Golden Globes for best picture, best actor, and best director. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a 19th-century fur trapper named Hugh Glass. After his company of mountain men is attacked by Indians who don’t like the fact that their lands and livelihoods have been stolen, they start a trek back to their home fort. But Glass gets separated from them, then, in a shocking scene, mauled by a grizzly bear. His sidekicks murder his son and leave him for dead. But in this saga of survival and revenge, Glass isn’t finished, for such is the definition of the French word revenant — “coming back,” as in a person who returns, especially after they were thought to be dead. The technical complexities of shooting this film were amazing — in the remote Canadian Rockies, in the dead of winter, at elevation, and, at Iñárritu’s insistence, only in natural light despite the short days. “I ain’t afraid to die,” says Glass when he gets back to base camp, “I already done that.”

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