Revolutionary Road (2008)

Genre(s): Drama / Romance
Paramount || R - 118 minutes - $29.99 || June 2, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-06-15


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Sam Mendes
Writer(s): Richard Yates (novel); Justin Haythe (screenplay)
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates


Theatrical Release Date: January 23, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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.::THE FILM::.

Revolutionary Road is the story of a couple, Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio) and April (Kate Winslet) who are trying to make it in the state of Connecticut and live their lives to the fullest. Frank works at a job he hates, some sort of contractor at a firm or bank office and April stays at home to take care of the kids. She at one point wanted to be an actress but gave up her goal of being one to raise the kids while her husband brought home the big bucks. However, both hate the life they currently live in. Frank is cheating on his wife with some random floozy at work and April is unhappy with being a stay at home mom. A day before his birthday Frank takes April to see a play (since she wanted to be an actress) but it upsets her greatly and the two get into a huge argument, which leads Frank to cheat the next day on his birthday.

The two reconcile later that night, and April brings up the idea that they could move to Paris and try to live a better life there. April decides to turn the tables on Frank, and says that she could get a secretaryís job in Paris and let Frank work on whatever it is he wants to since sheíll be bringing in the money. They eventually agree to go to Paris and sell the house, the car, and other possessions to take this one chance in life and move out of the crap town they are living in and actually try to live their dreams out in France. Things change soon though, as Frank even in his crappy work ethic manages to land the company he works for a huge cash bank and he gets offered a promotion. Can Frank take the promotion and stay here, or is this just a case of the right relationship at the wrong time?

The acting in this movie is some of the best Iíve seen in such a long time. DiCaprio has only had a few hits in his day (ďThe Departed,Ē ďTitanic,Ē are all that come to mind) but this sure resurrects my faith in him that he can make great movies. Even if they come out once every few years, Iíd rather have him in movies every few years that are excellent like this one than be in crappy movies every year. Winslet is also beyond great in her role as his wife, as she is not only believable but also enticing. I could actually see her being April in real life, and just not up on the big screen.

The problem for me didnít lie (for once) in the long runtime, as I appreciated the fact that the movie could sustain entertainment for as long as it was. I had issues with the somewhat derivative plot, as I could have guessed what was happening within the next ten minutes almost every time. Allow me to elaborate a bit, it was easy for me not only to predict what would happen with Frankís job situation, but also what would happen at the end of the film. Itís not necessarily a bad thing that you should be able to predict whatís going on, but itís a problem when I could without even much thought. Iím sure everyone wonít be able to and I urge you not to as it does ruin the movie slightly in the big scope of things.

That being said, yes the plot is predictable, but itís not a big killer for me. All in all, this is a fantastic movie that surprised even me. Yes the ending is predictable although I did weep a bit at what does happen to the couple. This movie is eye-opening for people who realize that they may be stuck in some similar situations, and sees how they handled it in their lives versus what Frank and April do. Iím sure though that it will provide a great message and a moral one too at that, and I hope people take away from this flick what I did: to not take life for granted and seize the day.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary by Sam Mendes and Justin Haythe: The director and screenwriter, respectively, team up for an excellent commentary that keeps pace and entertainment. The two talk about and praise the cast, mostly DiCaprio, and point out various things such as the music that is used in some of the shots to be lined up correctly with the decade. I strongly urge you to listen to this if you found the movie as enjoying as I did.

The Making of Revolutionary Road (29 minutes): The cast and crew talk about the film, what itís about, and how the movie came to be. Arguably this is one of the better ďmaking ofĒ features that Iíve seen in the past few months, and even though itís half-an-hour long, I strongly urge you to watch this if you enjoyed the movie as much as I did.

Deleted Scenes (10 minutes): Contained here are five scenes that didnít make it into the final film but are available here for your viewing pleasure. They donít really add much to the movie or its plot, but if you are looking for more into the already long enough flick then be sure to watch these.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Flesh tones appear a bit lighter than they should, as I noticed the characters looking paler and then their faces would be brighter in a different scene. There were also some issues with contrast, as the film was a smidge brighter and then darker in other scenes as well. The color palette though is spot on, as there werenít any issues with whites or blacks being overblown. Itís also pleasant to report that there were no problems what so ever with grain or noise plaguing the film as I donít even recall a time when I did see either of the two in the flick. This is a great transfer from Paramount.

This is a primarily dialogue-driven film. I say primarily when I mean that this is an entirely dialogue-driven movie. Thereís barely anything going on in any speaker besides the front, although I did detect the occasional surround noise coming from cars or voices in the background. Dialogue itself though sounds great, as the voices boom and is spoken with clear diction. I never struggled to hear any of the characters as the movie progressed, which was great. This is yet again a great audio track from Paramount.



.::OVERALL::.

Revolutionary Road is an outstanding film that is as good or better than you heard about from friends and family. If you didnít hear anything about it before this review, then I implore you right now to get off your computer and make a purchase. The acting is incredibly, the script solid, and it kept even me interested throughout the two-hour runtime. The technical package is above-average as it sports solid audio and video and the special features package, although a bit slim, has a great commentary and an excellent making of featurette. This is one road to take a drive down right away.