With Revolutionary Road, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet finally are reunited onscreen after their iconic coupling in 1997’s Titanic, and for those who ask why it took so long, consider that Titanic director James Cameron has released zero (count ’em) non-documentary theatrical features since that time, while Leo and Kate have been busy to the tune of more than 30 films combined.
Here, they’re no longer passionate young lovers who have just met on a maiden voyage, but a young married couple living in Connecticut suburbs in 1955. Life would be good, except both feel stymied by ’50s conformity and yearn for a new life, perhaps in Paris. Illicit affairs and wrenching dramatic conflicts ensue, as Hollywood points out yet again that suburban life is a hollow sellout compared to the glories of living in, say, New York or Los Angeles. Or something.
The film is exceedingly well acted, as well as beatifully shot. And it’s reportedly reasonably faithful to the source novel by Richard Yates, with solid direction by Sam Mendes. It’s also good to see Leo and Kate together again in an entirely new vein — one which shows their now seasoned acting chops to great advantage. I just wish there didn’t seem to be such an axe to grind about the ’50s and suburbia. For some, life was damn good back then, in what was rightly called post-war prosperity.
Look at us now. The economy is tanking, and we’re morally adrift as a nation, fixated on shameless “celebrities” whose basis for notoriety is often how ugly their lives can be.
Too bad Kate and Leo’s characters couldn’t have been born a few years later, and they’d have been a happy hippie couple grooving at Woodstock. After that, who knows? But least they’d always have Hendrix.