Thursday, March 19, 2009

Scenes From A (50s) Marriage

I was blown away by 'Revolutionary Road,' a wrenching story of two lost souls trapped in the ersatz perfection of 1950s suburbia, superbly acted by Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio - perhaps the finest work yet by two artists with long and impressive oeuvres.

It's not a feel-good movie, picture Scenes from a Marriage made unrecognizable by American 50s idiom, or Who's Afraid Of Virginia Wolff made less frightening, but three times as paper, by the fact that the unhappy couple truly love each other and just somehow got lost.. It's also less insulated that either 'Scenes' or 'Wolff,' with first-rate art direction opening up the faded colors of 50s Americana... Directed by Sam Mendes of 'American Beauty' fame...

This movie is inhabited with some of the spirit of 'Mad Men,' but lives in film's artistic edifice of brevity, large screen views, total immersion.. Also, 'Mad Men' show a pre-PC world of prejudice slapping often you in the face and a large tableau of characters, where as here the focus is on the characters and their dilemma, unlike Mad Men where the cast shares star billing with the era itself.... The music is haunting, a great counterpoint to the situation and yet another very high production value.

Oh, Oscar, how could you neglect this masterpiece so? Though I do believe Winslet's work in this movie was more than half the reason she won for 'The Reader,' another excellent performance though with far less screen time. Three well-deserved nominations for art direction and costume design, and best supporting actor for Michael Shannon as a mentally disturbed lad speaking several grains of truth...

But, hey, don't just take my word of it. watch this preview....

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