An allegedly grown-up film critic airs his views
But some pundits did not take kindly to the film, seeing in it not a story of struggle, betrayal, and realisation that the reality of the frontier was harsh for all concerned, but rather that the rotten Hollywood Liberals were shoving environmentalism down their ideologically pure right-leaning throats. One of those most deeply offended by the film was the loathsome Toby Young, who took to Twitter to express his outrage.
Such was Tobes’ combination of anal retentiveness and paranoia that, after sitting through a screening of The Revenant, all he could say was “Watched the Revenant last night. More environmentalist, anti-Western bilge from private jet-using, multi-millionaire Hollywood liberals”. Who needs historical realism, eh? What happened to all those John Wayne flicks where there were good guys and the warm sun always shone?
But then it got worse, a lot worse, as Tobes led a Spectator Life live blog of last night’s awards. He started with some self-aggrandisement: “Met Alan Rickman at a party once. Asked him why villains in Hollywood movies are always played by Brits … If Nick Hornby wins Best Adapted Screenplay he’d better thank me. I published him in The Modern Review before he’d published his first book. I discovered him. Without me, he’d be nothing”. But then came the shock news: The Revenant had won Best Picture!
“The Revenant? Seriously?!? A chase movie dressed up as an anti-colonialist allegory. Preferred Apocalypto… by a factor of 1,000 to one”. And just to maintain his Liberal-kicking credentials, he added “Trumbo is very slight indeed. Liberal virtue signalling at its most anodyne. Not worth bothering with”. There’s a Joe McCarthy fan in the making.
What was Tobes to do? The rotten BAFTA luvvies were out of step with The Great Man! Well, there was always the cheap sneer: “Best bit in The Revenant is when Leo DiCaprio gets in a fight with a bear. Unfortunately, DiCaprio wins … So, did Leo come by private jet so he could accept this award for a film that blames the West for the despoliation of the natural world?” He’s seeing things that other cinema-goers are not.
So desperate was Tobes that he had to move the focus to education: “Leo DiCaprio thanked his mum for driving 3 hours every day so he could go to a good school. @schooltruth won’t like that! #EEBAFTAs”. I doubt she’ll even read it. He even had a failed last wish: “I want Tom Hardy dressed as Mad Max to storm in on a motorbike and snatch that Revenant Bafta”. Strange kind of reality they inhabit out there on the right.