It’s nature red in tooth and claw, and the lovely Leo licking his lips at Oscar success, at Royston’e Picture Palace this weekend

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in The Revenant - Credit: Archant

According to the cynics of the world of cinema, if you want to win an Oscar you’ve got to be prepared to suffer.

Golden Globe winner Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant

Golden Globe winner Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant - Credit: Archant

That’s certainly been the case when it comes to many standout performances – if you lose a lot of weight, or gain a lot of weight, for your art you’re in with a chance.

But if you spend most of the film confined to a wheelchair like Eddie Redmayne in The Theory Of Everything, twisting your body into all sorts of impossible shapes like Daniel Day Lewis in My Left Foot, or going all method to give a convincing portrayal of someone living with autism like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, the odds appear to be shortened significantly.

A stammer did the trick for Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, but you don’t have to have a disability – if you just have a thoroughly unpleasant time it can be enough, particularly if you are playing a real person.

So when Leonardo DiCaprio signed up to play an indestructible fur trapper bent on blood revenage in The Revenant – apparently based on a true life story, and no picnic for any of the actors involved – he must have had an inkling that his day had come at last after years of disappontment.

And it wasn’t just the leading man who collared a statuette – director Alejandro González Iñárritu took his second in a row and Emmanuel Lubezki collared cinematography honours, too. If you want to see why, the film – a gruelling 2hrs 36mins of hardship and privation on the wild frontier of 1820s America – is showing on Friday and on Saturday night at Royston Picture Palace.

For something lighter, you could try Saturday afternoon’s irritating animation Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip, which did not apparently trouble any awards juries.

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