Don’t expect pheromone-charged adventure with the reconnection of former teen heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio and his Titanic co-star Kate Winslet.
Revolutionary Road has very little sizzle but plenty of steak.
Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) does this movie more like a series of snapshots than scenes. Set in the inhibited 1950s, DiCaprio and Winslet play Frank and April Wheeler, a couple stuck in suburbia. Every day is the same. No purpose. Nowhere.
When they first met, she wanted to be an actress, and he couldn’t wait to get back to Paris where he was stationed in the Army. Instead, she’s a bored housewife, and he does sales.
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On the verge of divorce, they decide to chuck it all and head for Paris. They only person who understands their motivation is the schizophrenic son of their realtor done with a manic intensity by Oscar-nominated character actor Michael Shannon, whose pitch-perfect performance rips through this dour material like rocket fuel.
Frank gets a promotion, and April gets pregnant. Snapshot. Pain. Anger. Frustration. Reality. Brilliant.
Each revelation. Every event. A snapshot. Mendes lingers on the characters — especially Golden Globe winning Winslet — and wordlessly lets you feel what they feel.
You may not like Revolutionary Road when you leave the theater. I didn’t. But two stunning performances and some terrific supporting work and Mendes’ snapshots stayed with me. And they will stay with you.
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Rated R for mature themes, language, sex. It opens Friday, Jan. 23 at the Carmike 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.