The BAFTAs and what they mean for The Revenant

Ever since last night people have been proclaiming the race for Best Picture done and over with. The Revenant is now the frontrunner, even though The Big Short won the PGA and has single-handedly dominated the awards buzz the last few months. I'm not buying. The race is far from over. Inarittu wining another Best Director Oscar is also up in the air. Listen, The Revenant is a genuinely thrilling picture, don't get me wrong, and I wouldn't mind it winning over The Big Short, but its rampant artistic emptiness might rub some folks the wrong way. I've met plenty of people that have said they didn't quite get the point of the whole thing. I do understand that sentiment, however my problem with The Revenant is the exact opposite. The scenes that tried to get some kind of emotional response out of us felt staged and gimmicky. I much preferred the raw, outdoor torture porn that Inarritu and Lubezki kept hitting us with. Some of the most beautiful and breathtaking sequences of 2015 come from this movie. The whole dead wife shtick, something that Dicaprio seems to love reading when choosing his scripts, just rubbed me the wrong way and I felt it was almost too forced to have any emotional resonance on yours truly.

Does Inarritu deserve Best Director? Of course not. This was the Chivo show, nickname of Lubezki, as he did the unthinkable and made a film exceptional all by himself. This might be the first time that I've seen a director of photography take over a movie this way this basically make it his instead of the director's. What we are seeing is a major breakthrough: Photography overtaking direction and I feel like this will become more and more the norm as we start to realize how important images can be used in mainstream fare. The Revenant is a composition of images that strikingly hit you, think of it as a montage of suffering. All done through natural lighting and little to no exposition. To say that Chivo is becoming a groundbreaking figure in cinema would be an understatement, he's actually becoming a giant and changing the way movies can be planned and shot. I do believe there are photgraphers out there that have the same amount of talent as him, but are not given as much of the creative freedom as he is by the studios. Brilliant stuff and a far cry from last year's more auteur-driven Inarritu winner Birdman, which had much more of Inarritu's imprint than this one does. Great movie nonetheless, maybe even better than The Revenant. The only thing that's guaranteed for The Revenant come Oscar night? Dicaprio winning Best Actor and Lubezki winning his third straight Best Cinematography trophy .