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Where ‘Revolutionary Road’ leads
How Sam Mendes handles Richard Yate's novel about suburban malaise
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am Mendes’ adaptation of Richard Yate’s 1961 novel Revolutionary Road is “the best American film of 2008,” said Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle. Starring the perfectly cast Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet (watch the trailer here, via YouTube), the movie successfully “captures the timeless torment of the unhappy marriage” and the “farewell to dreams.”

DiCaprio and Winslet deliver great performances in Revolutionary Road, said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune, and the movie’s “rewards are many.” But “however sterling the craftsmanship, the film adaptation inflates the meaning and buffs the atmospheric surfaces of Yates' story, rather than digging into its guts.”

That’s an understatement, said Sean Burns in the Philadelphia Weekly. “Mendes has absolutely nothing new to say” about suburban malaise. Not only is his new film “phenomenally dull,” Winslet and DiCaprio “just stand around shouting the subtext at one another.” Perhaps this movie works best as “a sick joke, aimed at couples who went to see Titanic on a first date and now find themselves married and as miserable” as Revolutionary Road’s lead pair.

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