Great Performances Wasted in Sterile ‘Revolutionary Road’

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CHICAGO – Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio) and April Wheeler (Kate Winslet) refuse to believe that they’re like everyone else in the 1950’s suburbia of Sam Mendes’ frustrating “Revolutionary Road”. They may go to the same jobs and travel in the same social circles, but, unlike the bored housewives and husbands around them, they haven’t given up on their dreams.

They’re ego-driven, selfish characters who long to escape the ennui of the white picket fence but are constantly brought back to it by the trappings of family and work. Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Frank and April live the unfulfilled lives of millions from the ’50s to the ’00s, but to what cinematic end? No one involved with “Revolutionary Road” asked the crucial question - why should we care?

There’s a misanthropy, a bitterness that pervades the entirety of “Revolutionary Road” that makes it impossible to emotionally invest in the broken dreams of the Wheelers and, consequently, keeps Sam Mendes’ film from becoming the effective drama that it could have been in a less clinical director’s hands.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Revolutionary Road” in our reviews section.

From the beginning of “Revolutionary Road,” Frank and April are fighting. The Wheelers have a beautiful family, nice friends, and a gorgeous home, but they feel trapped in their suburban existence and they lash out at each other constantly.

April longs for her dreams of being an actress and Frank loathes his boring job. Frank cheats on his wife with the new girl at the office and April not-so-secretly hates her husband. To everyone they encounter, Frank and April seem like the perfect couple, but they’re seething with self-hatred and resentment.

‘Revolutionary Road’ stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, and Michael Shannon. ‘Revolutionary Road,’ which was written by Justin Haythe and directed by Sam Mendes, opened in Chicago on January 2, 2009.

StarContinuing reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Revolutionary Road” review.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet star in Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet star in Sam Mendes’ “Revolutionary Road”.
Photo credit: Francois Duhamel, DreamWorks

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