“Based on a true story” films are always a part of the awards season.
The movies add an intriguing aura to Oscar hopefuls and when an actor or actress is portraying a real person, especially a figure known to contemporary audiences, that may impress Academy voters.
This year is no different in that some of the possible Oscars contenders took their inspiration from real life, but it’s a very different collection of movies that fall under this heading.
“Spotlight,” which was released this past November, centers on Boston Globe journalists who did Pulitzer Prize-winning work in reporting on the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. “Bridge of Spies,” which came out this past October, tells the story of a lawyer who becomes embroiled in a prisoner exchange with the Soviet Union.
And joining the list of top contenders that were inspired by real events is “The Revenant.”
The movie is directed by last year’s winner of the Best Director Oscar, Alejandro González Iñárritu, The film for which Iñárritu won the prize, “Birdman,” took Best Picture. In addition, “Revenant” stars frequent Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio. (The actor has been nominated four times for his acting but has not yet won.)
“Revenant” tells the story of Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), who is abandoned by his comrades in the western part of America after being attacked by a bear. He must attempt to make his way to safety and decides to take revenge on those who wronged him.
The newsroom setting of “Spotlight” and courtroom scenes of “Bridge” are a long way from the setting of “Revenant,” which found cast and crew filming in Canada in freezing weather.
But while some changes were most likely made to the story, “Revenant” will be another end-of-the-year film that informs audiences about a story they may not know.
“Revenant” came out in limited release on Dec. 25 and will enter wide release on Jan. 8.