Monday, January 12, 2009

Movie Review: Revolutionary Road

Ever since I saw the trailer for this film, which features a sampling of the abundance of moving dialogue, laced over a cover of Nina Simone's "Wild is the Wind". Seriously, if you don't feel like reading my review then at least watch this trailer and tell me you don't want to immediately get out of your chair and hit the theaters.
Revolutionary Road is chock full of great dialogue, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet turn in two of the finest performances of the movie year. I raved about Rosario Dawson in my Seven Pounds review, but after watching Winslet star as April Wheeler, wife to DiCaprio's Frank Wheeler, battle with the misery of suburban hell, it makes Dawson look like a minor leaguer. The movie opens with DiCaprio and Winslet meeting at a party and sharing a few drinks/laughs, the opening credits fade in and as they fade out we meet the couple years later in a suburban hill, with nice suburban furniture, two nice suburban children, and a nice suburban car. Frank Wheeler works in the city. April Wheeler tends to the home and children. Frank hates his job. April hates her life even more. What's interesting about this film, which takes place in the 1950's, is that it really makes you think (as a younger movie-goer) about your parents lot in life. As a 21 year old, all you think about is how your dreams are becoming less and less likely to be actualized, you see your family at home and their jobs and simply assume that they have accepted their lot in life and are happy with everything they have achieved. Perhaps, they are miserable and nobody even knows it. April Wheeler is miserable and she decides to let it be known; she convinces Frank - who, though reluctant, is likely just as miserable on the inside as his wife - to move to Paris and live life the way they always wanted. Soon after though, Frank gets offered a promotion, April gets pregnant and the couple struggle and fight over what they should do. The extremes of love and hate portrayed by DiCaprio and Winslet are unbelievable. What's most interesting about the film though, is the role reversal you get from a prototypical movie. How many times have you seen a flick where a man and wife settle down and have kids, until the man realizes he never achieved his goals in life and sinks into a mid-life crisis? Well, this time, the script is flipped and Winslet plays is masterfully, her performance is one of the best I've seen in a very long time and her emotional range was put on full display throughout. In a movie where DiCaprio and Winslet shined so brightly on the screen, I would be remiss not to mention the performance from Michael Shannon as a neighborhood man recently released from a mental institution. Shannon's character though is far from insane, he simply sees through the mascaraed and masks of happiness that Frank and Annie put on everyday and frankly, he steals just about every scene he is in. I rate this movie 4.5/5, the acting was incredible, the script was incredible, and the movie was really thought provoking.

1 comment:

Imjustlikemusiq said...

Kate Winslet won the Golden Globe for this.

I'm money at predictions... Ima put up my Oscar predictions when the nominations come out, bouta go like 95% or above.