Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Revolutionary Road

Melodramatic and over-the-top performances override the solid storyline of Revolutionary Road.
A couple drifting through a suburban existence in the 1950s struggle to find a reason to be happy.
Kate Winslet's April Wheeler is a failed actress and housewife who is ultimately unhappy with what her life has become. Her husband, Leonardo DiCaprio's Frank Wheeler, is mostly resigned to his role as father and breadwinner until he becomes convinced that he has not found his true calling in life.
An interesting character study becomes secondary to actors actively trying to one-up each other with emotional outpourings. It seems like director Sam Mendes decided to let his actors go unrestrained, begging for attention from the awards community. The final product is watchable, but nothing spectacular.
Both DiCaprio and Winslet have given audiences better performances in other movies, so it is no surprise that they were overlooked by the Academy.
The over-acting was not limited to the top two roles though. The supporting cast had their share of cringe-worthy moments. It makes me believe we have director Sam Mendes to blame.
It seems more disappointing when you have a good cast, interesting concept and decent dialogue and it gets ruined by mediocre execution.
Revolutionary Road gets a C+.
--John Berry, online editor--

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