THE REVENANT ***
Fresh off his Oscar winning for “Birdman”, Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu provokes once again with a disturbing take on human condition, perseverance and resistance. Since his debut with “Amores Perros” back in 2000, the director has been developing a great example of authenticity, depicting the force of human instincts with stories that come together to solve a similar matter. In this drama set against an anguished atmosphere, the director leaves the study of emotions behind, and places his bets on a different artistic level, completely supported by the visual aesthetic, and the power that both the sound and the image can create a remarkable impression on the audience. If you think you can’t forget the sound of Leonardo Di Caprio’s screams for help you are right (“Basketball Diaries” was made over two decades ago, but the drug-based pain of his character is still screaming very loud). Here, the actor, who’s been collecting Oscar buzz for his visceral and scatological performance, makes sure his cry-out won’t be forgotten. As James Franco recently suffered the horrors of “127 Hours” over the Grand Canyon, Di Caprio experiences the extreme, the over-the-edge and most painful absurd one can imagine. He delivers a knockout performance, giving the audience a taste of his agony when he’s attacked by a bear while exploring the wilderness in the 1800’s. The scene of the attack as well as the depiction of his continuously suffering is so shocking and extremely realistic that sensitive people should avoid. He sets himself on a journey of survival, struggling with hunger, cold, wild animals, and dangerous people, as he seeks to avenge his son’s murder- killed by the same man (Tom Hardy) who abandoned him along the way. Inspired by true events, Iñárritu scores again, with this over-the-top mainstream work, supported by the amazing depth of Lubezki’s cinematography, the gritty sound effects and Di Caprio’s scariest performance to date.
In the sexy thriller “Amorous” two couples decide to leave the conflicts of urbanization and engage themselves in a most intimate and pleasurable inter-connection, sharing a condo in the countryside of England. While they experiment a different perspective on love, sex, co-dependence and commitment, they are defied by a visitor who questions their communion behavior. Joanna Coates’ sensuous and lascivious suspense will heat up the temperatures this season. And in Dennis Bots’ coming-of-age story “Secrets of War” about the strong bonds between two boys and a Jewish girl, audiences will find a delicate and touching look at innocence in times of war. They will risk everything to escape the Nazis in order to keep them together, facing dangerous obstacles in an adventurous territory that creates the irresistible sense of cheering for the little ones. A Family treat for the Holidays. (On DVD by Film Movement)