revolutionary-roadSo this is the much-heralded reunion of Kate and Leo following their triumph in Titanic in 1997 – this may or may not be the right time to confess that I have never seen, and at this point have no intention of ever seeing, Titanic – it’s just not my thing. Anyhow, here they are back together again over 10 years later in what I think has to be described as a more mature piece of work, based on the novel by Richard Yates which I haven’t read.

Frank and April live a normal suburban lifestyle in the 1950s – he has a job in the city and is just turning 30, and she is a homemaker bringing up their two children. Things are not happy, and April comes up with a scheme to chuck it all in and move to Paris where she will support Frank so that he can find his true self. But of course things don’t work out as planned with the inevitable tragic consequences.

What I loved about this film = Kate Winslet’s performance is excellent, I really felt her pain throughout the whole movie but this shouldn’t take away from Leonard Dicaprio – every time I see him he is better and better as an actor; Kathy Bates is always brilliant in cameo roles; the whole thing looks beautiful

What I didn’t like = no complaints about the film at all, though it is pretty emotionally draining….

Ratings stuff = 15 for strong language and sex scenes

Tissue count = no tears but did feel pretty melancholy when it was all over; not easy to watch a film that is basically about a relationship that is falling apart

Safety cushion = not necessary

Because this film was directed by Kate’s husband Sam Mendes there was a lot of stuff around at the time about what it must be like for a man to direct his wife/girlfriend/partner in intimate scenes, and I’ve always thought that was a question that says more about the person asking it than the subject. I think that one of the key characteristics of a good director was the ability to step back from those kinds of considerations in the pursuit of making a great film. I thought Mendes did an excellent job here and brought out the best from both of his leads.

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