Reviewed by: The Film Snob
Synopsis: Based on the Robert Yates novel, Revolutionary Road tells the story of the Wheelers (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett) as they experience life’s struggles.
Review: Let me first say this–from the previews it seems like all the Wheelers do is argue, and while there is a great deal of back-and-forth between the couple–it’s not all the movie has to offer. The Wheelers live in the suburbs of Connecticut and in doing so are quite out of place. While they are admired by the neighbors, they have always dreamt of a bigger life, a better life. Their discontempt with this suburban lifestyle, complete with two kids and a bad career, is driving an insurmountable wedge between the marriage.
The performances of Winslett and DiCaprio are noteworthy, but Michael Shannon absolutely steals the show. He plays John Givings, the psychotic son of the Wheeler’s neighbors. His role is to deliver the ultimate truth–and he does so with no apologies, no sincerity, and no regard for human feelings. I have to say that I love this character. I wish everyone was more like this psychotic ox of a man–and I think the Wheelers share my sentiment. At one point they even reference the absurdity of living in a town where the person they most relate to is on short-term leave from the town’s mental institution.
This is a solid film strictly due to its wonderful acting. As mentioned, outstanding performances were turned in by Winslett, DiCaprio, and Shannon–but also by Kathie Bates and Dylan Baker. The story is interesting enough, but this could have easily become a film in which you have to sit through the dry, boring story to benefit from the courage of this plot. However, with this great ensemble–the audience feels bound to the success of the Wheeler family–cheering when they succeed and sorrowing when they fail.
Also, the score for this film is wonderful. I cannot believe it was nominated for an Oscar. It is one of the few times I have ever noticed a score, but I think it is a huge part of this film. It’s almost like an additional character. Look forward to it.
Recommendation: If you’re a dialog fan like I am than this is a movie for you. There are great life truths embedded throughout the picture. If you’re taste is more tied to action or comedy than you need to avoid this film at all cost–although, John Givings does deliever one ridicilously funny line to Mrs. Wheeler–so that’s something I suppose.