BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003792Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Revolutionary Road
DVD disk
05.28.2009 By: Mathew Plale
Revolutionary Road order
Director:
Sam Mendes

Actors:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Kate Winslet
Michael Shannon

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In a Connecticut suburb, a young couple (DiCaprio, Winslet) comes to realize that their American dreams may always be just that: dreams.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Get out. Now, while you still can. Get out of that big two-story house on your big freshly-mowed lawn before you get that promotion or wind up pregnant. Go to Paris, stop working. Find what you want to do, not what your father did. Refuse to settle for the delusion that you have to be ordinary. Or, live out the Great American Tragedy like the rest of ‘em.

Welcome to Revolutionary Road, which looks just about like any other in the Connecticut suburbs. Only this one has the Wheelers, Frank and April, the newest and youngest couple in the neighborhood. Frank’s a salesman just like his old man and April’s a failed actress, now a housewife, perhaps like her mother.

Now with two kids, the dreams they shared when they first met are starting to slip away. Frank is, like a workingman cliché, sleeping with his secretary, and April spends her days tidying up and conversing with her friend and real estate agent. Then, an epiphany: what if they move to Paris? After April realizes how much money she can make as a translator at the American Embassy, she notes that Frank will no longer have to work ten hours a day at a job he hates. They plan to leave in the fall.

But then Frank gets a promotion, while April, concerned she may be pregnant, drags herself about the house as their charming little suburban existence begins to crumble, their happiest moments viewed only as flashbacks. They blame each other and start to realize that April may be too spontaneous for her husband, and Frank may always just be a guy who made her laugh at a party once. Every day there is shouting and signs of physical violence, even when they have company.

That company is Helen Givings (Kathy Bates), who sold the Wheelers their home (white with a red door, a visual nod to director Sam Mendes’ other depiction of suburban hell, American Beauty) not long ago. At her request, she brings over her son John (Michael Shannon), an electroshocked time bomb with a knack for exposing scars who, in one afternoon, challenges and obliterates the couple in the home they’d once hoped to escape. It seems ironic, yet oddly appropriate, that someone on a four-hour leave from the “funny farm” would be the one to expose the emptiness and hopelessness of one‘s life.

Shannon is just one of the three emotional, frighteningly real performances in Mendes’ Revolutionary Road, an adaptation of Richard Yates’ acclaimed 1961 novel. There is also Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, who portray the Wheelers. While DiCaprio occasionally borders on the theatrical (watch how comically he palms his hair back in heated situations), Winslet has rarely been better, expressing the frustrations and contempt of being an adequate nobody just as brilliantly as she did in Todd Field’s Little Children, where she also played a dispirited homemaker.

Revolutionary Road, which was 2008’s most revealing and truthful film, is set in a town just like any other town, on a block just like any other block, in a house just like any other house, where there are people just like you. They have dreams, but they also have laundry. One will have to wait.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with Director Sam Mendes and Screenwriter Justin Haythe: The duo has a great chemistry, which, in addition to the numerous details into the making of Revolutionary Road, makes this a very good track and a must-listen for admirers of the film and those behind it.

Deleted Scenes (9:49): There are 5 here, each available with an optional commentary by Mendes and Haythe, who expand on where the scenes would have come in the film and why they were cut. Moments include more tension between Frank and April, flashbacks (Frank of his childhood, riding the train with his father; April of the couple’s first time in their new home), and more. These are all good, and were discarded for pacing reasons.

Lives of Quiet Desperation: The Making of Revolutionary Road (29:00): Interviews (with Winslet, DiCaprio, Mendes, etc.), on-set footage, and plenty of ass-kissing highlight this look into the film’s production. Topics include: Winslet working with her husband and re-teaming with DiCaprio, Richard Yates’ novel, the film’s themes, shooting on-location, the production design (props, costumes, et al.), and the cast’s characters.

Previews.

Unfortunately, the Theatrical Trailer, which was by far the best of last year, is not included.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road is less pretentious and lighter on symbolism than American Beauty, but it approaches a similar topic with the same observant eye. In addition to brilliantly painting a tragic story that many may be too in denial to relate to, the film hosts great performances and a remarkable design, both of which will be touchstones of the genre.

Also available on June 2nd is the Blu-ray.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Best Selling

| November 2016 More Best Selling
  • 1
    Harry Potter (Complete)
  • 2
    Captain America: Civil War
  • 3
    Finding Dory
  • 4
    The Secret Life of Pets
  • 5
    Star Trek Beyond

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More