DVD Review: Revolutionary Road

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are brilliant” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone) in the mesmerizing epic REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, arriving on DVD and Blu-ray June 2, 2009 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Nominated for three Academy Awards and four Golden Globes , the emotionally gripping film has been called “amazing” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone), “flawless” (Rex Reed, New York Observer) and a “masterpiece” (Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle). Directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty) and adapted from the groundbreaking novel by Richard Yates, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD won Kate Winslet her first Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. Reuniting DiCaprio and Winslet for the first time on screen since Titanic, the incisive portrait of a 1950s American marriage unfolds as an enthralling drama that is moving, thought-provoking and “a revelation” (Clay Smith, “The Insider”).

Revolutionary Road paints the story of April (Kate Winslet) and Frank Wheeler (Leonardo DiCaprio), a young attractive couple living the suburban life. The movie begins with their initial meeting as we hear about the hopes and dreams both of them have for their lives. Years later we discover the two have married and have slipped into a routine of work and tending to the kids. Resentful that life isn’t what either of them wanted – they boldly decide to break away from their lives and chase their dreams. The only question is can they do this without falling even further away from each other?

It’s a painful story based on the bestseller by Richard Yates, and is without question one of the best films of 2008. While it’s not a feel-good movie by any stretch, it’s refreshing to see work that is so real despite how tragic it may be. It is intelligent and engrossing throughout, and the acting gives life to a screenplay in the way that suburban despair has never done better.

The real start of this film is Kate Winslet. Winslet won Best Actress for this role at the Golden Globes and was completely overlooked for this role when the Oscars came around. The award of Best Actress there still going to Winslet but for The Reader instead. While she gave an incredible performance in that film as well, I found it paled in comparison to how incredible she was in Revolutionary Road.

Michael Shannon also gives an incredible performance which won him a nod from the Academy. While he didn’t take home the Oscar, his short appearances in the film will leave a lasting impression on you. He’s absolutely incredible.

Leonardo DiCaprio is also engaging and the film showcases his strengths, though it doesn’t stretch him as an actor which is probably why we didn’t see any nominations during this last past award season. DiCaprio is way past due for an Oscar in my opinion, but this wasn’t the role.

Special features on the Blu-ray version include commentary with Sam Mendes (Director) and Justin Haythe (Screenwriter), deleted scenes with optional commentary, ‘Lives of Quite Desperation: The Making of Revolutionary Road’, and ‘Richard Yates: The Wages of Truth.’ All of these are equally worth checking out, especially the ‘The Making of’ for a fascinating look behind the camera.

Review by Emma Loggins

Grade: A
Official site: http://www.revolutionaryroadmovie.com/revolutionary
Buy on Amazon: Revolutionary Road


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