This is a drama based on the book by Richard Yates, it tells the story of a young couple Frank and April Wheeler played by Leonardo DiCaprio and kate Winslet in the early part of the 20th century, both reunited for the first time onscreen since the blockbuster that was Titanic.
We initially meet the couple when they first met in a dance, we then move along several years into their marriage, with the house located on Revolutionary Road(hence the title), two children, this it seems will be it for the rest of their life. We are immediately given a window into their life for the last few years, that their marriage is on the rocks, Frank even though he promised himself he would never turn out to be like his father, is working right in the same company his dad worked for, for 20 years.
However April has not accepted that this is all life has for them, and she convinces her husband to use all of their savings sell their home, and start a completely new life in France.
April on the other hand remembers what Frank talked about when they met for the first time, about his time in France, how people really felt alive in Europe, as opposed to the monotonous existence they are currently living in. As their marriage is turning a cornerstone, she ventures that they start again, start from scratch, she could get a job as a secretary while Frank studies and finds out what he really wants to be.
There is a poigant scene where April tells the unassuming Frank that he is the most beautiful person in the world…a man.
I can see why Kate Winslet won the oscar for best actress, she is totally captivating from the very beginning, her American accent is spot on, and you get a taster of the explosive performances to be unleashed before the opening credits for the title have even begun. She captures the emotions beautifully of the failed actress stuck in a comfortable suburban neighbourhood she resents with each passing moment, the dreams and aspirations she has for herself, and what she saw in her husband. You get the feeling something bad is about to happen but as with any great performance you want to know how it gets there.
The superb Kathy Bates(from Dolores Clairbone,was also in Titanic) plays the friendly neighbour who had initially introduced the young couple to the lovely home in Revolutionary Road, she cordially askes the young couple if they wouldn’t mind entertaining her son who is in a psychiatric hospital, the brilliant eccentric John Givings is played superbly by Michael Shannon(8 Mile, Bad Boys 2), his sharp observations on the choices and strains on the couple are one to watch, infact I would say he steals every scene he is in.
Many from the theme, picture, and scenery will instantly recognise that this is a Sam Mendes movie, it has similar parallels with Road to Perdition, and for a second I could have sworn the theme in both of them were the same.