At Last, Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road is a corrosive and heartbreaking masterwork. Sam Mendes‘ best film yet is exquisitely cut, blended and calibrated with superb music by Thomas Newman and legendary performances from Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Michael Shannon. It’s the strongest heavyweight drama I’ve seen all year so far — much more searing and moving than I expected.


During Thursday night’s post-Revolutionary Road screening q & a at the AMC Lincoln Square — (l. to r.) moderator Glenn Kenny, costar Michael Shannon, star Kate Winslet — Thursday, 11.20.08, 9:25 pm

Kenny, Shannon, Winslet — Thursday, 10.24.06, 6:25 pm
  • austin111

    Sounds great. The reviews have certainly been mixed, though. Not surprising, given the material at hand.

  • YND

    Well, Jeff, Dzayson will be really happy to hear you’re in his/her camp. I liked the film but wasn’t blown away by it the way you guys were. Agree that it’s the best thing Sam Mendes has done, but I still didn’t feel that it didn’t hit on anything particularly new or said anything in a way that hasn’t been said many times before in recent years (from, as others have mentioned, AMERICAN BEAUTY to LITTLE CHILDREN to MAD MEN).

    I thought the performances were all first rate, but I thought the emotional scope of the characters was pretty limited. Flatly put, there’s very little joy in this film. A lot of anger, a lot of bitterness, a lot of despair… but not a lot on the other end of the spectrum. Winslet gets more range to play than DiCaprio, who’s pretty well trapped for the entire film. Not saying they don’t capture their characters remarkably well and deliver great work… just that there’s an airless quality to the piece that is oppressive and doesn’t make me want to see it again, as much as I admired much of it.

    I’ll be interested to see if this thing is able to pick up awards steam (for anyone but Michael Shannon). Based on the conversations I had after the screening I attended, I liked the film a lot more than most did. What I heard more than anything else was that people just didn’t “care” about the lead characters and that made the film somewhat difficult to sit through.

  • perceptions

    Seems that you, Sasha, and Kris ,like others, were all very impressed with the film.

    Look forward to hearing more of your take on the film.

    And with all the raves I’ve read for Leo and Kate’s performances, I’m confident both are srong contenders for Oscar nods.

  • jjgittes

    I know several people who have seen the film and no one I know personally had anywhere near Jeff’s reaction to it.

    I heard mostly begruding praise – admirable, but dramatically inert ……….that kind of stuff.

    To say I am now completely baffled would be an understatement.

    Looking forward to seeing it.

  • actionman

    Not surprised to hear this, Jeff. Everyone involved with this film is a class act. Honestly, I’d expect nothing less than a masterwork.

    Can’t wait to see it.

  • Zimmergirl

    It’s weird when a film is released like this – with some seeing it early and others having to wait until the end of the year — if the major reviews aren’t released until then it seems like a lot can happen and not in a good way. Anticipation and hype can build up — Wells seems to confirm that he had low expectations going in, which helped him to be more impressed. Now all of you reading this will go in with high expectations and those have only one direction to go in. Some films can withstand that, like No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood, but others can’t. This is a film that will draw mixed reactions depending on the age of the person viewing it, the sex of the person viewing it, the education and experience…

    So it’s not a slam dunk, this movie, it’s a specific film for a specific type of person.

  • actionman

    Zimmergirl: I am a 28 year old male who is engaged to a 27 year old female. I work in marketing at an insurance company and hold a four year degree from a liberal arts college. I haven’t read the book. I am a fan of Mendes, Leo, Kate, and Deakins.

    Do you think I will like it?

  • perceptions

    Zimmergirl,

    Since Jeff has long had “RR and its lead actors in his Oscar Ballon, I don’t perceive that he went in with ‘low expectations.’

    And as to “TWBB and No Country, neither one lived up to the hype for my friends or me.

    And as to your comment below

    “This is a film that will draw mixed reactions depending on the age of the person viewing it, the sex of the person viewing it, the education and experience”

    That can be applicable to all films and is not unique to “RR”.

  • gruver1

    As I wrote yesterday, “A Best Picture winner has to be a manifestation of someone’s idea of a great, drop-dead, grand-or-penetrating-theme art film or it has to get people emotionally in a big way. Sorry, but them’s the rules.” Revolutionary Road obviously treds familiar ground, but it is without question a manifestation of someone’s idea — mine — of a great, drop-dead, grand-or-penetrating-theme art film.

  • raygo

    YND says … Winslet gets more range to play than DiCaprio, who’s pretty well trapped for the entire film.

    I’m thinking trapped is what they were going for. I’m interested in seeing this as a mirror of my parents. Both were Ivy League-educated and middle class (bordering on upper middle class). I suspect my dad always felt trapped. My mother was too literate to be a suburban housewife, and she took her agressions out on local civic causes (and sometimes her children).

    I agree with zimmergirl. This is a movie that will appeal to a particular sensibility. You’ll need to be open to it.

  • Chase Kahn

    THERE WILL BE BLOOD lived up to the hype — can’t say the same for NO COUNTRY, although both were deserved BEST PICTURE nominees.

  • perceptions

    Raygo

    Agree with your comment below. And, personally , think one should apply that to all films

    “You’ll need to be open to it.”

    Chase Kahn

    Yes, is alll of a matter of ‘perceptions’ . “TWBB” lived up to yours, but not that of my friends and myself.

  • Griff

    It will be nice to see Michael Shannon…he brought a real humanity to the Marine Sergeant in “World Trade Center.”

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