17 January 2009

At the movies: Revolutionary Road.

Kate and Leo, back again!

Kate working, for the first time, onscreen with her husband, director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition)!

A classic American novel served up raw and bloody for a nation coming to terms with its own legacy of expectations!

It's as refined a recipe for Oscar bait as anyone could hope for. Based on the acclaimed novel of suburban secrets and '50s frustration, Revolutionary Road reunites Titanic costars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as April and Frank Wheeler, who've found each other, suburban bliss is picturesque Connecticut, and a near-bottomless well of seething resentment from which to draw all sorts of hurtful and destructive acts.

Adultery, secret abortions, and using the children as pawns are just the starter course for this feast of misery. Revolutionary Road aims big; not only an indictment of domestic culture in the 50s, but also an attack on the Age of Titanic. It's no iceberg that tears apart our notion of idyllic cinematic love this time, but rather alienation, resentment, and even-then antiquated gender roles.

Sadly, it's such an unpleasant experience that it dilutes its own anger and frustration, and only Michael Shannon (Bug, Let's Go To Prison), as ECT survivor and ideological loose cannon John Givings, breaks through and detonates the film's hermetically sealed interiors from within in his two scenes. His is the voice that remains long after the film has ended. His are the words that define what
we've witnessed.

No comments: