Day 1115

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

When I think of film experiences, a few films always come to mind:  Night of the Shooting Stars, The Apartment, Braveheart, A Thousand Clowns, The Last Temptation of Christ, Cabaret, The Godfather, Whale Rider, Wings of Desire, The Piano, The Wicker Man, Citizen Kane, All About Eve, Repulsion, Toy Story 1-3, Hannah and Her Sisters, Alien, Network, Casablanca, It's a Wonderful Life, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, The Silence of the Lambs, Goodfellas, The Lives of Others...

Add this to the list:

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu may be the best filmmaker on the planet right now.  This film is a cinematic masterpiece.  I'm stunned at how good it is, how visually real everything feels and how extraordinary the entire experience is to watch (and listen!).  I've never been a big Leonardo DiCaprio fan, but this is his finest film by a ways and he's certain to win his Oscar this year.  And I wouldn't be surprised if Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu wins Oscars for Best Film and Best Director for the second year in-a-row, an achievement unprecedented in film history.  The film is so magnificent and exceptional that I don't see any other film beating it.  This is the film experience of the year.  Everything is at such a high level, from the acting to cinematography to music to editing.  The whole package is mesmerizing.  I'm in awe of this filmmaker.  Birdman was my favorite film last year and though I haven't seen all the contenders yet, I wouldn't be surprised if The Revenant ends up being my top film for 2015.  This is why I love stories.  This is why I spend so much time trying to get the details right.  Here's a simple story about the futility of revenge, and yet it's so epic, so real, so exact, so emotionally honest and relentlessly in our face.  The bear sequence is something for the ages.  The opening Indian attack is unbelievably real.  The chase and drop from the cliff into the trees is unforgettable.  There isn't a false note in the entire film, except perhaps in the CGI buffalo sequence, which isn't as visually real as might have been (that's the only moment that stuck out for me).   The music is rivoting.  The acting is top shelf.  The cinematography is gorgeous.  The story is simple and solid.  The entire experience is operatic and brilliantly realized.  This is what it's all about.  This is why I love films so much.

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