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Revolutionary Road [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

In Revolutionary Road, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio reunite for the first time since their careers exploded with Titanic--and it's almost as if they're playing the same characters, only married and faced with the hollowness of a 1950s suburban existence. Frank and April Wheeler (DiCaprio and Winslet) always thought of themselves as special, but they settled in a conventional Connecticut suburb when they had children. Hungry for a less constricted life, April persuades Frank to move to Paris--but slowly their plans unravel and their marriage unravels along with it. While Revolutionary Road may be a bit too glib about suburban emptiness--the lives Frank and April lead don't seem so stifled--the portrait of a mismatched marriage is vivid and devastating. The ways that Frank and April misinterpret each other, and the subtle yet unbearable dissatisfaction they feel, is rendered with remarkable and unsettling acuteness. Winslet and DiCaprio's natural chemistry tells us what drew these two together, making the way they tear each other apart all the more shocking. The excellent supporting cast includes Kathy Bates (Misery), Dylan Baker (Happiness), and especially Michael Shannon (Bug) as a mentally troubled mathematician who cuts to the quick of the Wheelers' troubles. Mention must be made of the beautiful production design; the costumes and sets are simply gorgeous. --Bret Fetzer

Stills from Revolutionary Road (Click for larger image)

Customer Reviews:

  • too dark too depressing
    The actors and actress did a wonderful job however, the content was dark and depressing. Frankly, I felt miserable after watching this movie....more info
  • what is revolutionary?
    Mendes new movie is somewhat more captivating because it is a far more serious and nuanced drama; while it's set in suburbia, I think it's more of a universal meditation on the difficulties of marriage. There are bits of cliches about suburban life, but to my experience of it, they are true more than they are silly glosses. The shift from their pre-married life of Greenwich Village liberalism to one in 50s suburbia did not seem glaring - it's more a case of two people who are uncertain about what they want from life and who find themselves taking the American Dream route, remaining uncertain whether it was a good choice. Mendes hits us hard concerning their inability to break through their own unhappiness and confusion to truly understand and love each other; to me, this is the main story. They make various attempts at connecting, some successful, but it never seems to be enough - and it has nothing to do with the fifties or suburbia at all. It would seem that suburban life is an easy place to lay blame, but not the true cause. To say they are joyless would be an overstatement, but not by a great deal. There are so many nuances to why they do what they do, feel how they feel, and communicate as they do that, for me at least, the movie deserves a second viewing, particularly as their relationship begins falling apart (which begins very early in the movie). I suppose you could say that the story revolves around the title - revolutionary. What is revolutionary? To live in the suburbs? In Greenwich Village? In Paris? To break out of the sorrows and uncertainties that bog us down? For me, the great tragedy of this story - and it is a tragedy - is that no one knew how to help the Wheelers, for had someone been able to, things could have looked very different - much happier - for them. It was definitely painful to watch, but then, I wouldn't say it is that much more painful than many folks' everyday lives; it simply amplified what so many go through.... or do not, preferring to keep things under wraps, attempting to be happy by what the social norm of the day is.

    ...more info
  • Too Real. Too Painful.
    As a longtime admirer of the novel "Revolutionary Road" (Yates can really turn a phrase), I thrilled with anticipation when I learned one of my favorite actors, Leonardo DiCaprio, was to star in a big-screen adaptation. It's an actors' movie. In fact, the word "acting" seems cheap and insufficient to describe what DiCaprio and Winslett accomplished in this extraordinary film that on the surface indicts suburbia but more deeply jabs at narcissism. Forget about "characters," The reunited "Titanic" stars employ their legendary chemistry to engender wholly realized, actual people, people so real that it's sometimes uncomfortable to watch their private lives imploding in an arena so public as a movie theater. There in lies the problem with this film's fleeting popularity and Oscar snub. There is no irony. No editorial comment. No distance of any kind. Just two hours of raw emotion. Director Sam Mendes and his stars perfectly depict-- note-by-note, tear-by-tear, deception-by-deception-- the painful collapse of a marriage and shameful self-realizations of one's small place in the world. But who wants to live through that -- even as a spectator? ...more info
  • Brilliant!!
    Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio are brilliant in this very sharp satire of American life and practice in the 50s in the USA.

    The film has many layers to it, and it posits a dissatisfaction with life in particular and in general in a world that is completely artificial. The dramatic escape plan, suggested and then demanded by the wife, is merely an extension of the American sense of se;f removal to another "site" in order to get going with USA values. It does not work.

    The breeding family of then and now comes under scrutiny and is found wanting; religious values or ideas are not in evidence, and so there is no leadership in this quarter nor in any other quarter. What the film exposes too are the absurd verbal solutions to problems, hence the wife constantly asking her husband to shut up, and he will not do so, as babble takes over for reason and engulfs the wife and the whole neighborhood.

    What keeps the structure of society in this film going are cliches, notions, attitudes, phrases that preach and teach nothing. The fear of the wife and her final actions have the quality of truth when set beside the options she has..suburban death, chronic dissatisfaction on all levels.

    There is more, but I will not spoil it; see this film if you are excited by ideas and deeper cosiderations than sit coms and melodramas serve up. This is film as art, acting as perhaps the only route to go for us in understanding the darkness that hates the light.

    The other reviews that have issues with boredom or surprise are Mall Movie goers. This is not for entertainment seekers, but for mature thinkers and lovers of film as art. ...more info
  • DVD Extras Offer Fascinating Insight into the Powerful Film
    There is an audio commentary by director Sam Mendes and screenwriter Justin Haythe. According to Mendes, the BBC owned the rights to Yates' book and asked Haythe to adapt it four years ago. They shot the entire film on location and almost completely in sequence so that DiCaprio and Winslet really lived with their characters. Mendes says that the look of the film was not inspired by other films but a documentary about the suburbs and photographs from the era. Haythe talks at length about adapting the book to film - what was left out, changed and so on.

    "Lives of Quiet Desperation: The Making of Revolutionary Road" is a very classy featurette on how this film came together. Winslet was a big fan of the book and really wanted to make it into a film. Mendes had just finished Jarhead (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) and didn't want to jump right into another film but Winslet worked on him for a year until he agreed to do it. It also took Winslet two years to convince DiCaprio to do the film and he loved the script and the chance to work with her again. This featurette also touches upon the challenge of working on location and how the fantastic look of the film was achieved.

    Finally, there are five deleted scenes with optional commentary by Mendes and Haythe. There is a scene that was to reveal the Wheeler children earlier on in the film. There is also more footage of the Wheelers visiting with their next-door neighbors with DiCaprio delivering an excellent monologue that reveals more about his character. We see more footage of Frank commuting to work. There is also a flashback with the Wheelers seeing their new home. Mendes and Haythe talk about why this footage was cut and put it into context with the rest of the film....more info
  • "Danger, Will Robinson!"
    Warning! Warning! Earnestness approaching! Danger! Danger! Who are these people?? Leo looks about 12 years old, and Kate looks like his mother (and, from certain angles, like his father). Leo squints, and then flies off the handle. Kate frowns, has no hobbies, no friends, and no believable character. Even her hair colour is unconvincing. Rather than being immersed in the world of the story, we are forced to watch these actors act. They speak in arch dialogue and emote. It's like watching a bad play. And it goes on for two hours.

    Oh, the pain! The pain! It's all so earnest. You can almost hear the actors commending each other for their work and feeling lucky to be working with, or married to, such an important director and picking out what clothes they will wear to Oscar ceremonies. What is more, in the best Hollywood tradition, mental illness, replete with references to electro-convulsive therapy, is wheeled in and we, the impressionable audience, are invited to laugh. In an interview available on [...], Sam Mendes congratulates himself on a job well done. He also thinks the film contains "emotional truth". Given the above, is Mr.Mendes: a) serious? b)very serious? c)too serious? d)a bubble-headed booby?

    The film would have been far more succesful if it had ended with Kate running away with the robot from the original TV series of Lost in Space (the sex scenes would have been more interesting too, and the social commentary less self-conscious). Indeed, if the neighbours had been the entire space-family Robinson, then I would have enjoyed the film immensely. As it was, like Dr.Zachary Smith, I was filled with the desire to return to planet Earth as quickly as possible....more info
  • Not the Brady Bunch
    I suspect that many people watching "Revolutionary Road" will expect to see some sort of romantic comedy. Put Leonardo DiCaprio together with Kate Winslet and would it not be reasonable to expect something romantic? Nothing could be further from the truth. "Revolutionary Road" is often confronting. It deals with tough themes within an unsettled marriage. It is anything but romantic.

    Based on the novel by Richard Yates, "Revolutionary Road" is set in 1950s Connecticut. Frank Wheeler (DiCaprio) is a young company man trying to make a way ahead for his wife and two kids. He works for the same company that previously employed his father in New York. He is bored. However, his wife, April (Winslet) is beyond boredom. She is quite depressed and hates her lifestyle. This is unfortunate as her lifestyle would be the envy of so many people. The family is well off and there are two happy children.

    It is the interaction of husband and wife that forms the basis of the film. At times, this can be extremely discomforting to the viewer. Yet it always seems plausible. The characters have cred. The film's ending is also traumatic. Don't go looking for a happy reconciliation between husband and wife.

    Notwithstanding the film's troubling theme, "Revolutionary Road" is worth the effort. The viewer is rewarded with a gritty insight to a dysfunctional family. Both DiCaprio and Winslet are excellent in their roles.
    ...more info
  • Morose and not always pleasant
    Revolutionary Road begins in an almost promising manner with a seemingly content couple meeting, then sort of flash forwards into their lives to a sunny suburb where they live in a lovely home with children, and everything seems peachy.

    Unfortunetely underneath their calm exteriors, the couple, played to perfection by Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio really aren't all that happy with their lives.

    The plot is both simple and complex. The film is really about the emotions of the characters. The distrust, deception, adultery- you name it and it can be found in this film.

    It is not always pleasant to watch but you almost can't stop watching the pair of spectacular actors do their thing. If it weren't for them, I don't think the film would be as interesting.

    Truthfully, after watching it, I can't really make up my mind as to whether I liked this film or not. It is an odd type of film where really you should despise every character and their situation, and yet you find something redeaming along the way.

    The film is certainly a downer and I'm not sure of a second viewing. It is a well-crafted movie with minor flaws which don't really detract but make it that much harder to enjoy it. It certainly makes you think and I suppose it accomplishes that much at least. ...more info
  • Revolutionary Road
    I don't know about the movie but I hope it's better then the Audiobook. The book was all over the place with the characters. It was very hard to keep up with the story.
    Hope the movie is much better....more info
  • Mendes And Cliches
    Moviegoers who found "American Beauty" forced and its satirical targets largely way over the top (viz. Annette Bening's character and actions) would do well to avoid "Revolutionary Road." This film is positively dug out with a steam shovel, its revelation of 1950's conformity by Sam Mendes about as revolutionary and exciting as a rediscovery of the wheel.

    An equally tiresome aspect of the film is the blatant overacting of both Winslet and DiCaprio in just about all of their scenes -lots of screaming and yelling, with less going on than meets the ears.

    Finally, there's the casting of DiCaprio in grown up roles. An excellent actor as a youth, unfortunately, like Patty Duke, he's hard to believe when cast in adult parts. He invariably resembles just a high school boy made up to portray someone years older, and it's too easy to separate the actor from the character being portrayed. All in all, this is in no way a memorable film....more info
  • A Prison Within A Prison

    Adapted from Richard Yates first novel, Revolutionary Road exposes the adversities of a young couple living in a Connecticut suburban neighborhood during the 1950's who simply realize too late that they were never meant to be.

    Frank Wheeler (Dicaprio) and April Wheeler (Winslet) feel as though they must standout from all the other mundane and ordinary suburbanites in their neighborhood. Frank, a marketer who works for Knoxx business (equivalent to IBM in those days) machines, is profoundly miserable at his job as he diligently works in a cubicle and engages in secretarial affairs with the novice typist. April, a struggling actress, who apparently never received her big break in show biz does not like to talk about her failures.

    During the beginning of the film, we are introduced to a quick flashback of how they met at a party while they were younger; Frank exhibits his witty, charming charisma as he gives April the impression of eventually leading a spontaneous life in Paris in the future. However, the viewer only begins to find out that this was merely a sales pitch or a common characteristic of a marketer. On the contrary, April falls for it no less. Fast forwarding to the present, April now lives in an ordinary life on Revolutionary Road with Frank and her two children and receives frequent visits from her inquisitive real estate agent (Kathy Bates) accompanied with her "mentally unstable" son. April feels as though she is leading a very unsatisfying and unfulfilled life. To add some excitement in their relationship, April broaches Frank's former idea of actually pursuing a career and settling in Paris as a secretary because it simply pays handsomely; meanwhile, it will beneficially fit Frank because he can finally figure out what he wants to do with his life. Frank refuses at first because according to him it is just "unrealistic" but eventually obliges because he too feels as though they need something new and spontaneous to reinvent their relationship. Despite the neighbors and Frank's fellow co-workers disbelief in this "childish" and radical decision, things seem to go very smoothly in the Wheeler family; the house they just bought is now on sale, their belongings are packed, the children are excited, life could not be any better.

    It all seems too swell for this tragic couple, when suddenly Frank is offered a promotion at his redundant job with a higher paying position, heavier responsibilities, and more importantly a chance to be apart of something great, the computer. Frank refuses this handsome offer from his boss at first because it interferes with their big trip to Paris. On the other hand, Frank cannot resist the temptation and is drawn to stay at this job because of the attachment he has regarding his father. We learn that Frank's father has also worked at Knoxx Business Machines for 30 years. It suggests as though Frank has a yearning desire to fulfill this empty legacy. On a different note, it strongly expresses Frank's inability to change and triumph over his trepidation. This couple struggles to achieve any sort of compromise as their lays a serious conflict of interest regarding their futures. April wants a lifestyle change in Paris; meanwhile, Frank is satisfied working in a miserable occupation with a higher salary. This relationship portrays that conflict of interest incessantly; it also shows how it affects their lifestyle and how they grapple with the consequences. It is not pleasant I rest assure you. (You'll see what I mean)

    The bigger picture here is the heavy social commentary implemented in this film at almost every other scene. It reflects and exposes the culture of the 1950's, the struggles of an unhappy relationship, and the fine line between insanity and simply pure genius. It also sheds light upon questions such as what is insanity and what is mean to be medically and mentally unstable? The reality is that the real estate agent's son who is "mentally unstable" by society is the only one that possesses a real intellectual and realistic perception on the wheeler's relationship.(Go figure) The Wheeler's relationship and decisions are constantly being influenced by other people and we see this through Frank's work environment, the neighbors, and the real estate agent. April is victimized as a prisoner of culture and her difficulty of coping with the dynamics of the role of a wife during the 1950's. Some might question her role in the film and ask, well, why doesn't she just get a divorce, or leave Frank? It just wasn't that simple during that time period as it was considered taboo or dishonorable to leave or separate from your husband. April wishes she could leave the house but is drawn back to it like a magnet because she has two children, a husband, and could not possibly earn a lucrative living in those days considering the job opportunities available at that time period. In that regard, April is prisoner of the house, living in an inescapable environment. She is a prisoner living in a prison within a prison. Frank is a mere coward that cannot confront the social obstacles of change. Like April, Frank too, is a prisoner as well. Hence, my conclusion, a couple that was never meant to be.

    Personally, I enjoyed this film not because of the setting, or from the great performances, but the realism that is portrayed here in this relationship. It is quite unique in the sense that the film does not sugar coat anything. Not to be too clich¨¦d or anything but it echoes the expression "it is what it is". In that regard it may turn some people off. I happen to cherish and embraced this message. If you like this film, check out "A Doll's House" with Anthony Hopkins. Both are excellent but sad films. They express a similar struggle of a couple resisting to conform to society....more info
  • Di Caprio is his generation's Jodie Foster..
    Sam Mendes surpasses his oscar winning American Beauty with a shattering portrayal of a husband and wife trying to hold on to any dream left in their path. Too often this film has been touted as "a study of a couple in suburban life". This may be why it got buried in the oscar race. Audiences and critics missed the importance of the story entirely.

    Mendes raises many complicated questions by the film's ending and he doesn't offer very many easy answers. But this is exactly why the movie is so important and compelling from beginning to end. Was she completely rational to want to move to Paris or was she irresponsible and bordering on insantiy? Was he a coward for deciding not to go or was he brave and sane for trying to do the responsible thing? Mendes has made a film that reminds one of Elia Kazan at his best. The script brilliantly evokes Tennesee Williams at this best.

    Kate Winslet is of course superb as the lead character. There has not been such a portrayal of a complex character like this since viviegn leigh as Blanche Du Bois in Streetcar. Michael Shannon is frightening as the next door neighbor,who comes across as some kind of bizarre prophet to the couple.

    But it is Leonardo Di Caprio who really captivates in this movie. Like he did as a teenager in some of his best film work, he evokes a vulnerability and daring that makes him a great actor. He has matured into the adult actor in an astouding way like the great jodie foster. Maybe it's easy to overlook this with his brilliant portrayal in Titanic that many can't forget. But if you see this movie, see it for his performance.

    ...more info