Revolutionary Road

Rated 4.0

Many people dismissed Sam Mendes’ sleek Revolutionary Road as a lite retread of his American Beauty disguised in 1950s designs. Actually, it’s a substantial retread of American Beauty disguised in 1950s designs, and until a disappointing denouement, it’s an affecting story of repression, desire and the mysterious bonds of couples. Kate Winslet (doing far richer work than in the borderline risible Oscar winner The Reader) and Leonardo DiCaprio (weirdly well cast as an overgrown boy wearing Daddy’s suit) play a picture-perfect but unfulfilled married couple who dream of ditching suburbia. Other than a couple of childish screaming matches, they’re too repressed to speak in anything other than Life magazine quotes, to the point that the carelessly chosen words of a certified lunatic (Michael Shannon) cut through the room like razor wire.