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Dimon Kendrick-Holmes: A movie fit for a woman

This week, against my better judgment, I took my 19-year-old daughter to see "The Revenant."

I was on business near the University of Georgia and had offered to take Cary to dinner, but she had various classes, activities and appointments until 9:30 p.m. We decided to see a late movie instead.

She suggested the extreme cold weather wilderness revenge flick starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a 19th century frontiersman. It seemed appropriate because it was about 20 degrees outside, and during my drive earlier that day it had snowed all the way from Pine Mountain to Athens.

I must have hesitated on the phone, though, because she said, "It doesn't sound like you want to see it."

To which I said, "I'm not sure I want to see it with you."

She knew what I meant. "I'm good," she said.

I was thinking of last year during the holidays when I took the whole family to see "Unbroken," about a former U.S. Olympic sprinter who survives a plane crash during World War II and is tortured in a Japanese prison camp.

My three boys sat stoically through the film, while Cary and Bess, my wife, cried hysterically.

"The Revenant" is rated R, according to the advisory, for "strong frontier combat and violence including gory images." And much has been written about the lengthy scene in which DiCaprio's character gets mauled by an angry grizzly bear.

After seeing the movie, a film blogger named Jeffrey Wells posted this Tweet: "'The Revenant' is an unflinchingly brutal, you-are-there, raw-element immersion like something you've never seen. Forget women seeing this."

You can imagine the reaction that got. One woman posted this: "You mean a raw-element immersion like childbirth?"

Another woman wrote: "That's right. Men everywhere are putting down their axes & dragging their pet grizzly bears to Viking movie theatres."

So shame on Mr. Wells for engaging in gender stereotyping. Still, I do know women -- strong, independent women who don't suffer fools like Wells gladly -- who walked out of "The Revenant."

That's why my better judgment told me to take Cary to see the new Coen brothers film, "Hail, Caesar!" instead.

But Cary said she could handle "The Revenant," so who was I to argue?

About a minute into the movie, a military expeditionary force gets mowed down by arrows from the Ree Indians, and it's all downhill from there.

Spoiler alert: Then DiCaprio gets mauled by the bear, witnesses a murder, is buried alive, climbs out of the grave and cauterizes a neck wound by rubbing gunpowder into it and setting himself on fire, gets hungry and eats a raw buffalo liver, jumps off a cliff on a horse (the horse dies), gets warm by sleeping inside the dead horse, and lots of other stuff.

Cary watched all of it with nary a teardrop or flinch.

Afterward, we laughed when the credits listed the company that had provided the wolves.

"It would have been funny if it had said, 'Wolves provided by Ted,'" she said.

Later, she told her mother, who would have run screaming from the theater when the first arrow was fired, that the movie was "beautiful."

I was so proud.

Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, executive editor, dkholmes@ledger-enquirer.com.

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