movies: revolutionary road

how do you break free without breaking apart?Because it was (and still as and will continue to be for the rest of the week) so mind-meltingly hot today, we decided to stick close to home (well, my home anyway) and have dinner (followed by Cold Rock icecream) near my house before going to see Revolutionary Road just down the road.

Turns out that it was a good idea all around... both our gastronomic choices, as well as the movie.

I'll be honest, there were three things that made me want to see this movie. One of them was Leonardo DiCaprio, the second was Kate Winslet and the third was the 1950's setting. I mean, c'mon... Leo and Kate's big "reunion" picture, set in the 50's... I'm so all about that.

I did start second guessing myself a little bit earlier in the day, since it's all dramatic and about the breakdown of a relationship (not really big on the happy happy joy joy fun times), but once it started and here was Leo and there was Kate, all of that melted away and I was along for the ride.

And I tell you what, I'm glad that I was!

If I had to sum this movie up in three words, those words would be "quiet", "still" and "sad". There are all of these beautiful quiet and still moments, with a sparse but haunting score by Thomas Newman (I should have guessed he was responsible really, with all the amazing things under his belt)... and this one particular piano piece that is still rattling around in my head.

But by no means is it a slow movie... it is quiet and still, but at the same time there are these explosions of heat and anger and passion that seem to come, oddly enough, from the same place as the quiet and the stillness.

Okay, enough with trying to sound all intellectual about it... I guess it's just because it's a movie where not very much really happens, so I don't even want to refer very much to the plot (since I'm not big with the spoilers) and it's also wormed it's way into my head and is rattling around in there.

I will say though that the story is very much "of it's time"... I'm not sure if the original novel was written in the 1950's, but the movie lives there perfectly, and there are a couple of moments that are so stereotypically 50's that it kind of makes your teeth itch, but it still works for the characters.

Both Kate and Leo are amazing in their roles... how Kate didn't end up with an Oscar nod for this kinda baffles me (although she did pick up the Golden Globe)... but I'll be honest, while her performance was magnificent, Leo was right there with her every step of the way. And I don't think it's the kind of movie you would want to make with actors who hadn't known each other beforehand, there needed to be that chemistry, that back-story, to make the thing work.

Acting snaps also have to go to Michael Shannon as "the speaker of truth", he's funny and a little scary at times, but brilliant. And David Harbour manages to be creepy without ever really doing anything overtly to make you dislike him.

Actually all the major players are great... and part of me could see this being done as a play, it has that kind of self contained energy to it.

The other people in line for snaps have to be Kristi Zea for the production design, Debra Schutt for the set decorating as well as Albert Wolsky for the costumes... there's a set of beautifully lit shots of the interior of the house towards the end of the movie that are just stunningly perfect 1950's suburbia (and made me drool a little bit over some of the furniture)... and Kate's costumes, with the switch between when she's feeling secure and happy and when her world starts to fall apart, add that extra layer to the character.

Only twice before have I given a movie full marks, but I honestly can't think of a single bad thing to say about Revolutionary Road... it's this beautiful, elegant, quiet, still, angry gem of a movie.

yani's rating: 5 unspoken secrets out of 5


Victor said...

Academy Award rules are that a performer can only be nominated for one role within a category. As Winslet has been nominated for Best Actress in The Reader, presumably her performance in that film was rated as better still than her turn in Revolutionary Road.

yani said...

Ahhh... this I did not know...

All I can say is that she would have to have been BLOODY FANTASTIC in The Reader...


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