Loeonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road (2008)
“This film is so good it is devastating.” –Roger Ebert
There is no better way to describe this movie. I just got around to watching it this past weekend, and I was blown away. I finished watching it and was paralyzed by my overwhelming sense of horror- a good kind of horror.
Set in the 1950s, April (Kate Winslet) and Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio) Wheeler find themselves living a docile life in the suburbs of Connecticut with their two children. To everyone on the outside, especially their real estate agent Helen (Kathy Bates), they have the perfect life. In reality, the monotony of everyday life is stifling them. Frank commutes to the city day after day, while April tends to the house and kids. In an effort to rejuvenate them, April suggests they move to Paris. It works. As they put their plan together, they rediscover why they fell in love and got married in the first place. But when Frank gets a promotion, plans change and they are forced to look at the truth about themselves and their marriage.
I think what really makes this film is the acting. Both Kate and Leo are completely committed to their characters, although Kate seems to pull the focus to her in every scene. The message of the story itself is nothing new- a married couple, stuck in suburbia, each longing for bigger and better things. American Beauty explores a similar topic, which was also directed by Sam Mendes. With a simpler and more direct plot, Revolutionary Road is less twisted and more real. The portrayal of these characters is so honest, you can feel their pain, which is both amazing and depressing at the same time.
If you’re looking for a laugh, I would not watch this film. But definitely worth a look.