All Good Things

Take this with a grain, but an English HE reader named Patrick O’Brien told me today that he’s just caught an early London screening of Revolutionary Road. O’Brien writes well and thoughtfully and seems sincere as far as an e-mail allows, so here’s his generally positive reaction:

“I’ve never been much of a fan of Sam Mendes but I was very pleasantly surprised here. Revolutionary Road (DreamWorks, 12.26) is a tremendously impressive emotional drama, cleverly put together, beautifully composed, and nicely edited by Tariq Anwar.

“Only the ending felt a little unsure; otherwise, I feel Mendes has made serious progress as a director. A daring scene at the breakfast table is pulled off with virtuosity towards the end. I’ll say no more than this.

“Much is demanded of the leads. A lot of what is communicated — the charged, confused feelings dangling just below the surface — is done without words. We’re dealing with a lot of heightened emotion bordering on melodrama. But the actors cope well, although Kate Winslet, I feel, is more convincing than Leonardo DiCaprio.

Revolutionary Road isn’t saying anything particularly revolutionary. I’ve seen people trapped in the suburbs, their dreams wilting, in cinema before — but it is portrayed this time with great eloquence and intelligence.”