While “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be a major a cinematic event, it will be one that at its core, is powered by nostalgia. And while that’s not to diminish what J.J. Abrams is cooking up, it should be said that Alejandro G. Inarritu‘s “The Revenant” is exciting largely because it looks unlike anything else coming to theaters in December. You’d be hard press to find a movie in recent memory that it resembles. Shot in a natural light, on tough locations, and telling a gritty story of vengeance, it’s aiming to be something visually and dramatically distinct, and lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio has a big claim to make.
“It’s going to be one of the most unique film-going experiences that audiences have seen in modern times,” he told Yahoo Movies. Damn, those are some bold words. And the actor makes it clear a lot of sacrifice went into the movie.
“I can name 30 or 40 sequences that were some of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. Whether it’s going in and out of frozen rivers, or sleeping in animal carcasses, or what I ate on set. [I was] enduring freezing cold and possible hypothermia constantly,” he said. While there was chatter over the summer of a production that saw the director and technical departments clash, DiCaprio attributes it to Inarritu being “vigilant and incredibly specific about what he wants up on screen, and he won’t accept anything less.”
Circling back to that galaxy far, far away, DiCaprio thinks December will have plenty of room for both movies to greet audiences. “There’s always room at the top. I’m going to be in line for ‘Star Wars’ as well. What’s great about this time of year is, as you know, they save the best for last in most cases,” he said. “And hopefully, it just means more people are excited to go to the movies. I think that people know this time of year is where a lot of great pieces of art are going to come out. I would never think that we’d be able to compete with ‘Star Wars’—that’s something that’s embedded in our cultural DNA. But I think when people begin to hear about this movie, they’ll want to go see it. And that’s all we can hope for.”
“The Revenant” opens in limited release on Christmas Day.