First optioned for film in 1967, Richard Yates’s classic novel Revolutionary Road
has had a long run-up to the screen. Published almost contemporary to its action in 1961 and yet starkly modern in thought, the story concerns a husband and wife in suburban Connecticut circa 1955, she deeply discontent with the social prerogatives of the period, he more and more immersed in them.
It’s a brutal, unsparing story, and in that sense it’s fitting that Sam
Mendes (American Beauty, Jarhead) is the director to bring it to the
screen. But if Beauty functioned mostly as an incendiary caricature of
suburban life, the newly minted trailer for Revolutionary Road confirms
that the film, like the novel, will be a plain-stated companion piece
that mines a subtler narrative to come to the same grim
The trailer, perhaps wisely, omits some of the story’s more allegorical
aspects and focuses on the warring husband and wife
(Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, famously reunited for the first
time since Titanic) at its core.
The film is primed to take advantage of the awards cycle with a Dec. 26
release, and the prospects seem particularly good for Winslet, who has
earned five Oscar nominations and no wins in the past. As April Wheeler, who
fiercely resists the social vacuum she lives in, Winslet will take on exactly
the kind of female role often considered absent from major Hollywood films.
And if her past with similar material tells us anything, she’s poised
to nail it.
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