Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Revolutionary Road - Review

Just saw Revolutionary Road, and while it's far from perfect, I think it's one of this season's more underrated films, and I'm a bit surprised at it's lack of precursor support.

As somewhat of a companion piece to American Beauty, Revolutionary Road explores how a seemingly “perfect life” can crush real hopes and dreams. Kate Winslet knocks this one out of the park as April Wheeler, a housewife who longs to live in Paris and rekindle the excitement she once felt as a young aspiring actress. Leo DiCaprio is also strong as her husband who chases the American dream only to find it's an illusion. Roger Deakins' detailed and subtle cinematography has the mark of a real pro, opting to use wide lenses to convey the isolation and emptiness in April's current life. While it is a solid film, it doesn't feel particularly new – even Thomas Newman's score sounds blandly similar to his past work – and some characters are clumsily handled. Nonetheless, it's a fine piece driven by two fine actors.

Kate Winslet's nomination seems like it should be a lock, and I believe she derserves to win, but with such a thick field of actresses this year it'll be close. I also expect noms for Deakins and maybe art direction and/or costume design.

*** out of ****

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