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Movie Review: Revolutionary Road

Alternate Title: Rocky Road

Story: I loved this movie. I loved everything about it. I loved the acting, the lighting, the direction, the nuance, the sets, the music and the classical tale of lost hopes and dreams. No one does suburban angst and the rot under the white picket fence better than director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) with a screenplay by Justin Haythe, based on the 1961 novel by Richard Yates.

Frank and April Wheeler thought life would be different. It is sometime in the 1950's, when divorce was rare, and the young Wheelers find themselves after two kids and seven years of marriage stuck in the suburbs. They are angry at themselves, each other and anything else that comes their way. What happened to their dreams? Their marriage. like so many others, turns out to be filled with compromise, hopelessness, dead ends and boredom. They have come to that moment when they realize that 'this is it'. That's all she wrote. So they decide to pack it all in and move to Paris. To dream the impossible dream.

What happens to their marriage, their dreams, their flawed lives is the essence of their story. It would have been wonderful to have had 'we will always have Paris' as my alternate title in this powerful film.

Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpra9OEw6nQ

Acting: Leonardo DiCaprio is perfect s Frank Wheeler. He is young, flawed and intense. Kate Winslet can do no wrong in my book. Brava to her. Kathy Bates is always the consummate actor. Michael Shannon as the imbalanced neighbor almost steals the show. Kathryn Hahn, David Harbour and Zoe Kazan round out the ensemble cast.

Trivia: Director Sam Mendes won the Oscar for Best Director in 200 for American Beauty and is married to Kate Winslet. Kate Winslet has very large feet and wears size 11 shoes. She is the youngest actress ever to be nominated for two Academy Awards (for Sense and Sensibility (1995) and Titanic (1997)) (Aged 20 and 22 respectively). [1998]. She holds a unique position in Academy Awards history: Only twice have two actresses been nominated for playing the same character in the same film. The first two were Gloria Stuart and Kate in Titanic (1997). The second two were Judi Dench and Kate in Iris (2001/I). When Leonardo DiCaprio was five years old, he was in an educational TV program, called "Romper Room" (1953) and was nearly kicked off for uncontrollable behavior. He was offered the role of the porn star Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights (1997) at around the same time as he was offered his role in Titanic (1997). The Dirk Diggler role eventually went to Mark Wahlberg.

Predilection: None - well, that is not true. I like Sam Mendes, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Critters: A little lap beagle

Food: Egg salad has a big role as do scrambled eggs. Also noted was corned beef sandwiches, pie and lots of meat and potatoes.

Sex Spectrum: There is sex but no body parts - unusual in a film with Kate Winslet.

Blatant Product Placement: Every liquor label imaginable.

Soundtrack: Exceptional track by long time collaborator Thomas Newman

Opening Titles: A long introductory sequence before just the title is shown. All credits at end of film.

Visual Art: Detail was perfect by cinematographer Roger Deakins. He managed to make us feel claustrophobic even out of doors.

Theater Audience: My secret balcony is not secret anymore. Sigh.

Weather: The season of their discontent takes place over one summer in Connecticut.

Sappy Factor: 0

Drift Factor: I was riveted throughout.

Predictability Level: I figured out what was going to happen about half way through the film but it did not spoil anything for me.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Yes.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure. How about renting the amazing American Beauty if you have not seen that gem.

Length: Two hours