Revolutionary Road

Posted by schnolis on January 23rd, 2009 filed in Reviews

THE_READERRevolutionary Road is not really about Revolution. The very large, spectacular Che was that movie. This film is about compromises and the choices we make, about our ideals and real happiness, and how sometimes the things we want actually cause us anxiety and harm.  

Frank Wheeler (Leonardo DiCaprio) and April Wheeler (Kate Winslet) are the special couple on the cookie-cutter suburban street titled Revolutionary Road sometime in the 1950s.   They have two kids, a nice white house on a small hill, and plenty of friends.  He toils all day in a job he loaths and she takes care of the house.  They seem like a perfectly normal couple–they fight, they go out, they visit with the neighbors.  Until one day, April comes up with an idea.

She suggests to Frank the couple sell their house, quit their job, and move to Paris, the only place that Frank ever thought people were alive.  Then they try to make it happen, over the mumbled criticism and whispered naysaying.   

I don’t want to reveal what happens, so see the movie if this sounds interesting.   It was to me.  Rarely have movies challenged me in such a personal way.  I don’t have the cozy house in the suburbs, but I do imagine what would happen if my wife and I decided to pursue our dreams.  What would happen if we quit our jobs and decided to move someplace and find work that we found idealistic and self-fulfilling?  

I wonder if a lot of people have these same thoughts?  I suspect so.   

What I liked: A very moving story that spoke to me personally.  A lot of really strong performances.  A wonderful character of John Givings, played with zeal by Michael Shannon (nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor).  

What I disliked: The seemingly false choices presented about taking a chance.  The fact that the kids of the main characters were hardly in the picture, a stark difference from my personal experience with children in everyday life.

Rating: 9 of 10

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