A movie review of “The Revenant” and book review of “My Grandfather’s Gallery” – by Gary S. Smolker

This is a review of a book and of a review of movie which are both about the trials of marriage, survival and revenge of people who had bad karma.

The life stories told in “The Reverent” and told in “My Grandfather’s Gallery” are stories which are always intense and interesting.

They are the “true life” stories of two men who sought, and of all men who seek and/or have had to seek , consolation and oblivion in their work.


“MY GRANDFATHER’S GALLERY – A Family Memoir of Art and War”

I am currently reading “My Grandfather’s Gallery – A Family Memoir of Art and War” by Anne Sinclair.

“My Father’s Gallery” is principally about the life and times of Anne Sinclair’s grandfather Paul Rosenberg.

In the 1920’s and 1930’s Paul Rosenberg was among the most influential art dealers in Paris, among other things he was the exclusive art dealer for Picasso and Matisse.

In this book, Anne Sinclair quotes sections of a very harsh letter written by her grandfather intended to be read posthumously, as it was.

The letter was addressed to his wife and daughter and his son.

“It is a meditation on life, his life, on what he wanted for his family and on the pain he felt over not having brought happiness to his beloved wife.”

In this book Anne Sinclair quotes and comments on sections of that letter.

She then makes the following comments on the type of person her grandmother was and the type of person her grandfather was:

“My grandmother wanted to enjoy the carefree years between the wars.  She was undoubtedly more hedonistic, more intoxicated by glamour than her husband, who was preoccupied with the development of modern art.  She wanted to dance, to enjoy herself, to be loved.  He wanted only to work.” 

Anne Sinclair comments: “Apparently my grandmother got bored with the marriage.  Perhaps she was frivolous, responsive only to surface and luxury.”

Her grandfather would have liked to have found “…someone more profound, with whom [he] could have exchanged ideas, shared [his] aspirations, and talked about other than trivial matters.”

Her grandfather concluded in his letter describing his wife, “…your spirit and your mind are incompatible with the needs of a serious, loving and devoted man.”

Wow: I completely relate to what happened in that marriage.


I saw “The Revenant” this weekend.

While watching this movie I experienced two hours twenty minutes of uninterrupted dramatic tension.

This is a movie with very little dialog and very little music.

For the most part, the soundtrack of this movie is the sounds of nature — the whisper of the wind, the whistling of the wind, the sound of water rushing in a river, the sound of snow falling, the sound of a buffalo stampede, the sounds of wolfs attacking a buffalo, the sounds of a grizzly bear attacking Leonardo DiCaprio, the sound of a gun shot, the sounds of arrows flying, the sounds of Indian war cries.

If you want to see how obsessed a man can be, see this movie staring Leonardo DiCaprio as an obsessed wilderness explorer, wilderness guide, husband and father.

If you want to see how traitorous and treacherous a man can be, see this movie staring Tom Hardy as a man with an innovative spirit always trying to take a dishonest advantage of every situation and to justify the dishonorable things he has done.

This film was directed and co-written by renowned film maker and Academy Award winner Alejandro G. Inarritu.


Copyright © 2015 by Gary S. Smolker, All Rights Reserved


About Gary S. Smolker

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: No enterprise can exist for itself alone. Every successful enterprise ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others. Otherwise, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. Imagination, open mindedness and flexibility are the most important factors in unlocking potential. Those who embrace innovation, improvisation, continuous learning, time management, are action oriented, high energy, passionate, creative, purposeful and intense individuals are best equipped to succeed. We all have ideas and the ability to make progress by sharing information and our ideas and also by changing our ideas when appropriate. We should always be on the lookout for teaching and mentoring moments. We hold time like water in our hands; however tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But, if it falls on a seed, a seed may grow to become something that will have a positive social impact. PERSONAL INTERESTS: I have a passion to learn, to innovate, to lead, to mentor and to teach. I seek to write things worth reading and want to do things worth writing about. I enjoy (a) driving a fast car, (b) having intense conversations (c) teaching/mentoring, (d) reading and (e) being involved in productive activity. PERSONAL: I believe in cultivating and backing passionate people, innovation, and old fashioned good ideas. I love making human connections and spreading good ideas. I am strongly motivated to achieve in situations in which independence of thought and action are called for. PERSONAL GOALS: I want to live life vibrantly, to be as sharp as a tack until my last breath and to change the world by being me. My personal goal is to be fully engaged in life, to lead by example, to set high standards and to continue to amass firsthand experience and knowledge in all that interests me. PERSONALITY: I love fun and mischief. I relish absurdity. I have an irreverent, facetious and satiric disposition. I dread boredom. I have spent a lifetime reading. I have no bias against people who have lived successful and/or complicated lives. I write to release tension, to get things off my chest. SOCIAL MEDIA: I post articles on the "Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange" blog at www.garysmolker.wordpress.com, and "Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes" at www.dudesguidetowomensshoes.com. I also post images and comments on Instagram @garyspassion. CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary Smolker, Smolker Law Firm, 16055 Ventura Blvd., Ste 525, Encino, California, 91436-2609, USA. Phone 1-818-788-7290, e-mail GSmolker@aol.com.

Posted on December 28, 2015, in Bored with Marriage, Karma, Loving and Devoted Man, Needs of A Serious Man, Seeking Oblivion in Work, the trials of marriage and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Innaritu’s films reflect the director’s addiction to intellectual scatology: whereas chick-flick love stories are predictably trite and depend on easy sentimentalism, Innaritu “edginess” falls back on an equally-trite alienation themes and an obsession with describing the color of humanity’s shit.

    Yes, stinking sewage exists in this world but you have to wonder about a person whose entire framework is the easy churn of the septic tank. I guess art house film distributors continue to fall for this existential snobbery and finance this guy’s movies (because the audience won’t do it to any large degree).

    My poster for Innaritu’s whole film catalog would consist of these words in a classified advertising style:

    LIFE SUCKS (send Innaritu $21 for details).

    • Lou,

      Your comments are delights to my eyes and sing to my heart.

      My goal is to write movie reviews that are an essential read for everyone who wants to follow the development and work of innovative movie makers.

      I will not write a movie review about a film that is not exceptional.

      The scenes and views in most movies look like and give the sense and impression of pictures painted on a canvas.

      Unlike that, “The Reverent” presents one view after another of colored sculptures.

      Audiences will love the beauty of “The Revenant” unless they are stupid.

      On top of that, all the characters in “The Revenant” (and especially the two stars, Leonard DiCaprio and Tom Hardy) project a spirit of will and strength which is so engrossing no-one will want to leave their seat, to buy popcorn or to go to the bathroom or for any other reason, while the movie is being projected on the screen.

      Both Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio should be nominated to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a movie released in 2015.

      The background soundtrack (music) in this movie is the first of its kind, it has absolute virginity. It consists 99% of the sounds of nature.

      For all the above reasons, “The Revenant” is an exceptionally powerful and excellent movie.

  2. My daughter & I watched the Revenant Christmas Day Eve. I recommend it. It is a brilliant film, great cinematography of nature, 1820’s period where fights between french, american and indian tribes over goods including spoils of war ..territory, fur pelts/skins, horses, gold and kidnapped indian women. The fights to survive nature,bear attacks, greedy men, very brutal, bloody with welcome departure or respite from brutality for engaging moments about spirituality of love between man & woman, parent & child, Indian with nature & nuture provided by wild west animal & plant life to survive the wilderness. I have no desire to go into bear territory ever; I was astonished by how horrific is a bear attack. Small details about the film: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/the-revenant/making-of-raw-liver/.

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