Theres a wonderfully perverse irony in the fact that the film version of Richard Yatess first and most lauded novel, Revolutionary Road, stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winsletthe very actors who defined everlasting movie romance for an entire generation in James Camerons Titanic. Here, Kate and Leo (both very good) once again strive to keep their heads above water, gasping for air. Only, in Revolutionary Road, the sinking ship pulling them down is their own marriage. Like many of Yatess characters, Frank and April Wheeler appear to be the most average of postwar Americans. But despite their comfort and prosperity, they sense that that they were once more interesting people and could be so again. Deep down, they know that this life of suburban anonymity isnt for them. Deeper down, they fear they may be wrong. Directed by Sam Mendes, Revolutionary Road isnt a great movieit lacks the full, soul-crushing force of the novelbut what works in it works so well that you cant help but admire it. Where Mendess earlier film about suburban anomie1999s overrated American Beautywas easy to brush off, this one will likely lead to some tense moments between many a young couple on their drive home from the cinema. Which is only fitting for a film that turns out to be a far more unsettling haunted-house story than The Amityville Horror, the Wheelerss picture-perfect home sitting there, biding its time, waiting to devour its next next victims and their futile ambitions.
Sam MendesLeonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Michael Shannon, Kathryn Hahn, David Harbour, Kathy Bates, Ty Simpkins, Zoe Kazan, Ryan SimpkinsJustin Haythe, Richard YatesJohn N. Hart, Scott Rudin, Sam Mendes, Bobby CohenParamount Vantage