"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Saturday, May 08, 2010

SNMR 8.5: "Revolutionary Road"


Frank and April Wheeler (Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet) seem to have the perfect marriage with two kids and a quaint starter home in a small Connecticut town close to New York City. April wanted to be an actress but wasn't well received while Frank has a good job at the same company his father labored at anonymously for thirty years. But Frank hates his job and April feels confined as a housewife. To break away, they decide to move to Paris in the fall where April will work to support Frank, so he can pursue his dreams, whatever they may be. Then, when word gets out that Frank wants to leave, he gets a big promotion at work and decides maybe Paris wasn't so realistic after all, shattering April's dreams of a better life.

I saw this movie during its theatrical release because of the hype surrounding Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet's first on-screen appearance together since Titanic in 1997. Plus, the film was directed by Winslet's husband at the time, Sam Mendes. The hype was worth it as the two actors displayed the same chemistry as they did a decade ago.

I was very disappointed that this movie didn't get more Oscar consideration than it did in 2009. The Art Direction and Costume Design deserved the nominations they received, as the look of 1955 seemed to me to be spot on. I'm not so sure Michael Shannon was a worthy nom for Best Supporting Actor. He was good but really didn't have enough dialogue, in my mind, to warrant the nomination.

I believe Kate Winslet's performance here was better than her win a year later for The Reader. Leonardo DiCaprio has made himself into one of the best actors working in the biz today and I predict he will win a Best Actor Oscar in the next several years. Kathy Bates delivers another solid performance as the neighborly busybody/real estate agent. My favorite scene comes at the very end of the movie, just before the credits roll.

I bought the novel last year after seeing the movie but haven't read it yet. From what I understand, Justin Haythe did a great job adapting Richard Yates 1961 novel into the screenplay.

This was only the sixth film Mendes has directed, but he's already won a Best Director Oscar and does a fine job at the helm here. The run time of 118 minutes is a perfect length and the story doesn't sag at all.

The DVD includes an informative 'making of' featurette, deleted scenes and audio commentary for both feature film and deleted scenes. This was one of the better movies to come out in 2009 and I suggest you watch.

***** out of *****

Revolutionary Road (2009, R, 118 minutes), starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, Katherine Hahn, Michael Shannon and David Harbour. Based on the novel by Richard Yates. Screenplay by Justin Haythe. Directed by Sam Mendes.



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