Jan 052016


Heading up the 2015 Australian ‘Oscar season’ (as Jan/Feb is now known as) line-up is a worthy Best Picture winner in The Revenant. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s extraordinary film hits cinemas a week ahead of Carol, The Big Short and The Hateful Eight, and two weeks clear of Room and Spotlight. Also released in cinemas this week, in a clever piece of counter-programming, is raunchy adult comedy Sisters starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

The Revenant – While exploring the uncharted wilderness in the 1800s, legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains injuries from a brutal bear attack. When his hunting team leaves him for dead, Glass must utilise his survival skills to find a way back home to his beloved family. Grief-stricken and fuelled by vengeance, Glass treks through the wintry terrain to track down John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), the former confidant who betrayed and abandoned him. Of an elite class of film, this is a starkly beautiful, purely visceral, astonishingly merciless survival-come-revenge spectacle from a filmmaker who is working at the peak of his abilities. Leo DiCaprio, who deserves to win the Best Actor Oscar this year, gets dragged through hell to bring us this performance. I was so immersed in the journey and astounded by Emmanuel Lubezki’s breathtaking cinematography that I could have watched this for hours more. It is a violent, gruelling and distressing film, but for me this is what the cinema is all about.

Sisters – When their parents place the family home on the market, siblings Maura (Amy Poehler) and Kate (Tina Fey) learn that they have one weekend to clean out the junk from their old bedroom. Unhappy with the news, the recently divorced Maura and her hotheaded sister make plans to throw one final bash to recapture their glory days with their former classmates. As the raging party begins to spiral out of control, the gals soon realise that there may not be a house left to sell once the dust settles. Fey and Poehler are the perfect team, and it has he mother of all crazy middle-aged house parties. But with such a substantial runtime one does have to endure some rough patches.

Weekly Recommendation – We liked Sisters – it is very funny and generous to its supporting characters, but the runtime does stretch the jokes a bit thin at times – but The Revenant is the one to see. I named it my #1 film of 2015, and Sam named it #3. We can’t recommend it highly enough.