Saturday, May 29, 2010

Revolutionary Road

Directed by Sam Mendes.
2008. Rated R, 118 minutes.
Kate Winslet
Leonardo DiCaprio
Kathy Bates
Michael Shannon
David Harbour
Dylan Baker
Richard Easton
Zoe Kazan

Plot: Frank (Di Caprio) and April Wheeler (Winslet) are an unhappy couple. They suddenly decide and start planning a move to Paris in hopes of chasing their dreams and rekindling the flames of their marriage.

The Good: First and foremost, both Winslet and Di Caprio turn in powerhouse performances. They are two of the very best in the business and they do not disappoint, here. To support them, director Sam Mendes surrounds them with an excellent cast and does a masterful job telling the story. The standout among the supporting players is Michael Shannon as the supposedly mentally ill John. I say supposedly because he seems less crazy than he does simply lacking a filter between his brain and mouth. As far as telling the story, Mendes carefully weaves a tapestry of issues until they seem almost singular and explode simultaneously.

The Bad: The focus on our main couple is so strict, other potentially interesting elements are brushed aside. In particular, the Wheeler’s neighbors are profoundly affected by what’s going on. However, given a certain event there could be much more shown. They certainly could’ve had some explosive moments of their own. Also, the Wheeler children are conveniently ushered off stage and easily spared the drama. It feels as if they’re not at all aware of what’s going on in their home, much less bothered by it. As a father, I can tell you it’s just too tidy an area of such a messy relationship.

The Ugly: The reason there is blood on the carpet.

Recommendation: This is a tough drama with three brilliant performances. It not only depicts a crumbling marriage, it raises questions. Though it clearly comes out on one side over the other, the pro-life/pro-choice debate eventually comes to fuel the movie and leaves us something to chew on.

The Opposite View: Stephanie Zacharek,

What the Internet Says: 7.6/10 on (5/23/10), 68% on, 69/100 on

MY SCORE: 8/10

No comments:

Post a Comment