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Monday 15 February 2016

Toby Young BAFTA Revenant Fail

Few films have seen their release anticipated as keenly as The Revenant, an epic story of survival in the inhospitable, wintry Montana of the early 19th Century, a new and compelling take on the Western genre. The film has been well received, and at last night’s BAFTA awards it was expected to win in several categories, not least that of Leading Actor, for Leonardo DiCaprio who played central character Hugh Glass.
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.

Toby Young - the intolerance of the right wing writ all too large. No change there, then.


mirandola said...

"What happened to all those John Wayne flicks where there were good guys and the warm sun always shone?"

Ironically, it was John Wayne's greatest film "The Searchers" which "The Revenant" reminded me most of. And I thought Wayne as the glaring, half-mad racist played a far more interesting character than the bland di Caprio.

But WTF is Toby Young on about when he accuses the film of liberal environmentalism? A grimmer, less sentimental view of Nature is hard to imagine. And I'd never have Inarritu down as a liberal. Dog fights in Amares Perros, a full scale attack on Hollywood and all its values and vanities in Birdman?

Anmd if anyone sank "Modern Review" it was the greasy slicker Toby Young who slithered aboard and set about wrecking it with his talentless journalism.

Andy McDonald said...

So, by his logic, anything less than Custer's Revenge, re-enacted amid a gushing oil well, with massive explosions in the background and a plane flying overhead trailing a banner reading "Die lefty scum" is horrible pinko backsliding?