Saturday, January 10, 2009

Paragraph Movie Reviews: Revolutionary Road

Forget Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm St; if you're a 20-something looking to get married anytime soon, this is the scariest horror movie you'll ever see. That aside, it's one heckuva film and I was thoroughly engrossed for its two hour duration. I've never bought too heavy into the Leonardo DiCaprio hype and have truthfully always found him a bit wooden, even in stuff I enjoyed him in like The Departed or Catch Me if You Can. In this movie, however, he was a damn force of nature, turning on a dime from charming to monstrous and playing both to near perfection. Maybe it's his much-ballyhooed chemistry with Kate Winslet that pushed him, because its on full display here, though slightly moreso in their downright scary shouting matches than in their tender moments. Speaking of Winslet, her performance here is rivetting, as she also plays a range of emotions magnificently, from claustrophobic to resolute and several degrees in between. Winslet is definitely the one who wins you over and makes you want to root for these characters though; as she convinces Leo they can have a better life, so does she convince the audience, and you start celebrating their every triumph and being devastated by every setback. The supporting cast is full of gems, with Michael Shannon as the shock treatment-addled but brutally honest mathmetician shining brightest, but with Kathy Bates and Kathryn Hahn also giving standout showings and Dylan Baker taking full advantage of every cameo he gets. While this movie didn't match my personal tastes enough that I can see myself watching it over and over, evaluating it purely as a work, I can say it's a fine piece of cinema and I enjoyed getting invested.

(As an aside, I've never seen Titanic, but if this had been an alternate reality sequel to Titanic where they both survive and end up unhappily married in a Connecticut suburb, it would have been both more depressing and more awesome simultaneously)

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