Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss - excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
It's 1955. Frank and April Wheeler, in the seventh year of their marriage, have fallen into a life that appears to most as being perfect. They live in the Connecticut suburbs with two young children. Frank commutes to New York City where he works in an office job while April stays at home as a housewife. But they're not happy. April has forgone her dream of becoming an actress, and Frank hates his job - one where he places little effort - although he has never figured out what his passion in life is. One day, April suggests that they move to Paris - a city where Frank visited during the war and loved, but where April has never been - as a means to rejuvenate their life. April's plan: she would be the breadwinner, getting a lucrative secretarial job for one of the major international organizations, while Frank would have free time to find himself and whatever his passion. Initially skeptical, Frank ultimately agrees to April's plan. When circumstances change around the Wheelers, April ... Written by
Revolutionary Road" is an all around beautifully, artistically crafted film with powerhouse performances
A show-stopping Leonardo DiCaprio becomes Frank Wheeler, with remarkable power and an insight we only get from the greatest kind of actors. Allowing the audience to become fully immersed in his psyche, letting us feel everything with him. Living his pain, resentment, and the smörgåsbord of emotions in between. It is a highly accomplished piece of acting from the lead actor that I cannot imagine being ignored come this award season. Frank is a flawed man that many people will be able to see aspects of themselves in. Not being satisfied with marriage, family, work. Feeling we are meant or destined for something greater, yet paradoxically feeling the doubt and insecurity in ourselves to really go after it. He's depressed, has a past he can't seem to let go of, he's arrogant, he's a liar, he's manipulative and in many ways immature. Yet we know him. He's our father growing up, he's a brother, friend or possibly even you. He makes mistakes and is almost embarrassingly human. What I found ultimately tragic about him was not the way in which he lied to others but the way in which he lied to himself. Leo DiCaprio uses his expressive face to brilliant effect as Frank. He was terrific in "Aviator" , "Blood Diamond", "This Boy's Life" and others and has rightfully earned his place as one of the finest actors of his generation. Having said that, this is a whole new layer to DiCaprio that none of us have seen before. He brings a new, mature type of authentic subtlety to his craft. He doesn't resort to any big physical transformation. It's all internal. This is a new height for him, and easily the greatest acting of his career. A performance of great emotional intensity and depth that I can say without hesitation, will be remembered for generations to come.
Kate Winslet plays April Wheeler with a sharp fervor. She is angry, depressed and intensely believes she and Frank are destined for something greater than a life of conformity in the burbs. She is a tragic character in that she is basically a closed book, she shuns the love that people try to give her, she is a free spirit and quite the handful. She comes up with an idea to break free of the conformity she shares with her husband in an attempt to revive their marriage and at first it seems to work - the passion for life and each other reignited. But after an unexpected event and other factors, will the dream plan go through?
The chemistry between Winslet and DiCaprio in "Revolutionary Road" reminded me in many ways of the chemistry between Liz Taylor and Richard Burton in the 1966 film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". They create an intensity in their arguments that is electric and palpable. You cannot take your eyes off them, they glue you to the screen and stick it to each other as sharply as the couple from "Virginia Woolf" were able to. Frank and April's story is grounded in a greater, more painful reality, however. DiCaprio's raging sobs are chilling.
The film is very dark. And the honesty practically guts you in some cases, so I don't think everyone will love it. Watching it was emotionally draining. Sam Mendes certainly did his job well here. It's his greatest film since "American Beauty".
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