Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I haven't read the novel this is based on, but it's beloved, and as I understand it, a challenge for any filmmaker. Expectations would be running high even if this weren't the reunion of Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio for the first time since TITANIC. So does it work? Let's see what this first reviewer has to say:
Moriarty- Let me be the first to say that I’ve just seen the much-anticipated onscreen reunion of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio since TITANIC. I just got out of a screening of REVOLUTIONARY ROAD in White Plains, NY - and the movie’s a killer. Clear the decks – this is a great ride. The movie is directed by the British auteur, Sam Mendes, and its based on a novel by Richard Yates. Mendes directs his beautiful wife, Kate Winslet, who has never been better (and that's saying quite a lot!). She plays an idealistic wife in 1950s Connecticut who realizes that her dreams and freedom have withered away and she persuades her husband, the debonair DiCaprio, to rediscover the thing that made their marriage vital. I won't give away too much, but let's just say that DiCaprio goes along for the ride for a bit, but soon reality sets in and they've got to make some life-altering changes. Let's just say not only was DiCaprio's character balling by the end, but most of the audience was too. The performances are absolutely stunning - true powerhouse roles like we haven't since in a l oooong time. I bet comparisons to CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF are inevitable, and dare I say that DiCaprio and Winslet outshine Taylor and Newman (it's a tough call, but I said it). Jack and Rose from TITANIC they are not, and Mendes is playing games with us, I think -- it's brilliant casting, and top-notch direction on his part (and no big special effects!). Maybe the Academy can redeem itself and nominate Winslet AND DiCaprio this time. You know this movie is destined for multiple nominations - check out the roster in addition to the leads: Mendes (director), Scott Rudin (just won last year for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN), Roger Deakins (isn't he nominated for everything he does?). This is a sure bet come Oscar season. Dave Feldman
I have a feeling you'll hear the word "Oscar" in every review of this one, either to name it a sure-fire nominee or declare it out of the race. Either way, that's a lot of pressure for any film. Here's our second reviewer of the day with his take:
I was lucky to see an advance screening of Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road last Wednesday. The movie doesn't come out until December so this might not be the finished cut but I figured I'd give my review of what was shown. The movie clocked in at about 2 1/2 hours but it never felt that long. There are some small spoilers but I left all the big parts secret. The movie is based on a popular book by Richard Yates and is about a troubled marriage in the 1950s. The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank and Kate Winslet as April and starts off with the end of a play that April is starring in and shows Frank's dissapointing face. Turns out this play is in a local High School and April never became the actress she really wanted to be. This scene culminates in an intense screaming match between the two and Frank punching the car followed by the credits "Revolutionary Road". This sets the mood for how this movie is going to be. April is a failed actress/depressed housewife and Frank is a failure working at a crappy job he hates becoming his dad who he never wanted to become. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet give Oscar worthy perfomances throughout the film, their fights are intense and one in particular gave me the chills. You can see the anguish behind April's eyes as she goes on each day hiding the fact that she is miserable. When April comes up with the idea to move to France and start over you see happiness reenter both of their lives and as the viewer you really hope that everything works out for them. Those who have read the book know that this is only wishful thinking and those that haven't I don't want to spoil the results. Kathy Bates is also in the movie as Mrs. Givings, the real estate agent that finds Frank and April the house on Revolutionary Road. She always goes on to her husband about how they're such a nice couple and she even drops by now and then to talk to April. Her part is small but she does ok with what she is given, in two of her scenes though where she brings her husband and mental patient son John over for dinner, Dylan Clark Marshall who plays John steals those scenes from everyone. He plays the part of creepy mental patient with a PHD in mathematics who is too smart for his own good expertly. He ends up bringing hilariously dark humor with his character and is the only time in the movie that you will laugh at all. He sees the world how it really is and as a result calls April and Frank out on their fakeness and their pretending that the world isn't all hopelessness and emptiness. The neighbors Shep and Milly have a few scenes in the movie as well with Milly being the clueless wife of Shep who yearns for April so obviously. The scenes of the two couples together really dragged for me but I guess it was important to the film. The score of the film seemed ripped right from American Beauty, in a good way. The cinematography was beautiful throughout including some great shots near the end of the movie, one involving April staring out a window and a panning shot...I can't reveal what was going on in that scene though. I thought some parts in the middle were really slow involving Frank at work and Frank and April with the neighbors but it might just be that April and Frank are miserable and their life is boring, and it made me bored to watch it sometimes. Another problem I had with the film was the ending, they really blew it here. They could've had a perfect ending that left you feeling for the characters but they tacked on some scenes at the end that were unnecessary and they failed to give you any time to process what happened to the characters. A missed opportunity that I hope is corrected in the final cut. I made sure to detail my problems with the ending in the sheet that they passed around to everyone. Overall though I really enjoyed the film, the acting kept the movie afloat and I'm sure we'll see a couple names from this movie in the Oscar nominations. For Sam Mendes, not as good as American Beauty but still a great job. If you use this review call me JayDiggler.