Having relationship issues? Well, be warned that Revolutionary Road tackles the politics of ‘settling down’ head-on, without flinching. It’s classy, it’s pretty, sometimes it’s even very, very funny, but not once does it release its grip on the theme.
Arguably the two most watchable Hollywood stars of their generation, Winslet and DiCaprio are at their peaks – nailing every difficult scene, feeding off each other, making the Wheelers seem as real as the seat you’re sitting in. It can’t have been easy for Sam Mendes to direct his wife (Winslet) in such an unrelenting exploration of marital dissatisfaction, but the result is well worth the Golden Globe she tearily scooped – and there are scenes in which she’s never looked more stunning. There’s a gorgeous poetic touch to the surroundings too – Mendes and DoP Roger Deakins turning a morning commute into something of a rat-race ballet and using garden sprinklers, dappled light and pastel tones to elegantly decorate the period settings.
Without wanting to reveal too much, the only problem is what you come away with once all the intra-marriage sparring is done and the credits roll. There are a lot of issues left hanging there, depressingly unresolved – as is often the case in real life. A brilliantly made film then, but if you’re planning on using it for a night out with your partner, sit tight, hold hands and be very, very nice to each other afterwards.