At this year’s Oscars, up against the powerhouse of Mad Max: Fury Road and the much-lauded survival epic The Revenant, Tom McCarthy’s true-life investigative thriller Spotlight looked to be swamped. So, how did this carefully-constructed and poignant slow-burner of a movie beat the big boys to clinch Best Picture at the 88th Academy Awards?
Survival epic, western or revenge story, whichever way you look at The Revenant you see a powerful piece of filmmaking and a great achievement of ambition and scope. Gruelling on-location filming conditions were described by some as a “living hell” and you can feel the dedication, authenticity and the extreme conditions emanating from the screen, most prominently via the film’s lead and Oscar-chaser, Leonardo DiCaprio.
During this Daniel Craig-era of the James Bond franchise we have seen new l￼￼￼ife ￼￼injected into the 007 saga. Bond became more tangible, more vulnerable and more human. Inspiration was clearly taken from the Bourne series to add realism and gritty fight sequences to a previously slapstick tone of violence in Bond films. Much of the cheesiness and cliché associated with the franchise was trimmed away too, whilst Craig himself overcame the doubters with his ruggedness and more unorthodox charm compared to his schmoozing suave predecessors. However, has Spectre fallen back into bad habits and is this a backwards step for Bond?