Monday, September 22, 2008

Revolutionary Road



I love the way Kate's voice sounds so flatly husky and small, Leonardo's too. The lines almost sound like they're numbed by suburbia, too much smoking and whisky. Or, more likely, Mad Men is just on my mind after its EMMY win (similar time period and marital dissatisfaction). Everything that's said between Leo & Kate here might be whispered between them, even if its uttered for us.

I also enjoyed Kate running through the woods (eery memories of Heavenly Creatures, still one of her finest hours) and the depersonalizing shots of hordes of men in suits. But then, Sam Mendes has never made a film that didn't look like a million bucks. He likes those A grade cinematographers, don't he? My chief worry is that it'll play stiff and thematic. Road to Perdition and Jarhead weren't exactly loose and spontaneous pictures, you know? Here's to this Titanic reunion, though. What a crazy handsome couple.

22 comments:

nick plowman said...

Rev Road + Mad Men in the same thought = Handsomeness Overload.

That’s all I got, can’t wait either.

Rob said...

I just finished reading the book, and even on the page, I was getting "Mad Men" vibes throughout.

Anonymous said...

Nice trailer... Nina Simone certainly helps!!!

k said...

The crescendo gave me chills. Wow.

NATHANIEL R said...

if this gets a BP nomination I could actually see both of them winning... delayed gratification for just about the only things TITANIC didn't take hom in 97 ;)

amir_uk said...

That's Best Actor and Best Actress right there for you. What a trailer. (Yes, the Nina Simone is chilling too.)

NATHANIEL R said...

that annoying little birdie keeps telling me how great the LITTLE CHILDREN trailer was and that doesn't necessarily mean a movie is going to sweep the oscars.

i'm telling the birdie to shut up for now ;)

Janice said...

OH gooooooooooddddddd....

That said - are these Lester's parents?

I'm trying to imagine someone making a film that takes in the 1950's (or today, for that matter) in which everyone isn't a stuck, unhappy suburbanite in a cookie-cutter life (the Hours, Fur, etc etc.)

NATHANIEL R said...

Janice --hee. But how many films about really happy people get made ;) for any time period?

mrripley said...

nat - please comment on kate you love her so what think thee now you se her in the role do you think she has a shot at toppling meryl,i can't sleep till i know.

Janice said...

Nathaniel - true. But there's something about the 1950's (or early '60's) in particular, (and the suburbs generally) that's become the "go to" time and place for making observations (or outright bashing) about what's worst about American culture (stifling, soul-stealing, narrow-minded, whathaveyou). (At least Tim Burton at his best - Edward Scissorhands - still retained a wry affection and humor even while he acknowledged the downsides.)

Besides, aren't the people who see a movie like this one, say, basically the choir, and not so much the people who need to hear and acknowledge that, yes, there's a reason they call it the "nuclear family"?

John Mario said...

The trailer looks good, but it's becoming cliche the 50's,early 60's period piece for unhappy marriages

Anonymous said...

If it seems cliche, it's because the novel defined the genre. It's also the most depressing book I have ever read and I sort of don't want to see the movie.

adam k. said...

I've actually thought they could both win for a while now (in fairness, I was always expecting a best picture nomination).

But I'm a bit disappointed with this trailer. It showcases all the usual Mendesisms that've gotten so tiresome... external beauty masking stiffness and emptiness, etc. It looks like American Beauty, but less fun.

I'm convinced now that the main reason American Beauty worked as well as it did was because of the comedy. Mendes has never tackled comedy in film since then, and I think he should. He needs it to offset his tendency to prettify the soul out of his films. Without the light-hearted black humor, his films just play like depressing clichés with no purpose.

But here's hoping Kate & Leo really BRING it, a la Spacey & Bening. I just worry, since of course humor was Spacey & Bening's most valuable contribution to their film.

NATHANIEL R said...

adam... well said. his films have been very lacking in the humor component since then. even to the point where there's not even a casual laugh.

Anonymous said...

Yes, great point about the comedy. I was put off by the trailer. When my mind cycles back to the past, I think okay is this the 1930s where everyone was starving and desperate for jobs, no, it.s the 1950s, where all those people who grew up in the Depression were grateful for jobs and prosperity, and all those who fought in a war were happy for peace, and those who saw that still more had to be done were involved in the civil rights movement.

But this one is the cliche of being stifled in suburbia. I have no sympathy seeing Leonardo DiCaprio complaining about anything, and certainly not about being stifled. He just comes across as a petulant middle-aged twerp, who doesn't know the meaning of suffering. So -- I guess I'll give this one a pass, and just say, not to my taste.

adam k. said...

Well I'm definitely still seeing it, but I've become resigned to my disappointment with it.

So I hope I finish the novel before then. Since I'll be disappointed with the film anyway...

c.p. iñor said...

I actually laugh a lot while watching Jarhead... I think Gyllenhaal is terrific in that film... very funny/serious...

Rob said...

Yeah, I don't agree with the no comedy thing at all. Did either of you guys see "Jarhead"? I don't like the movie... at all ... but there's a lot of intentional humor throughout that film.

Janice said...

//Yes, great point about the comedy. I was put off by the trailer. When my mind cycles back to the past, I think okay is this the 1930s where everyone was starving and desperate for jobs, no, it.s the 1950s, where all those people who grew up in the Depression were grateful for jobs and prosperity, and all those who fought in a war were happy for peace, and those who saw that still more had to be done were involved in the civil rights movement.

But this one is the cliche of being stifled in suburbia.//

Well said indeed, anon. That was the point I was trying to make, but doing so quite badly.

NATHANIEL R said...

rob & c.p. -- yes. Jarhead. sorry. good point. I blanked on the funny bits because the movie is VERY self-serious (don't you think?)

I actually liked it more than most people did but Mendes definitely leans toward the excessively sober side as a filmmaker.

Air said...

I don't really think it's fair to write off the film just because of its genre. Everyone knows the genre, and its popularity has definitely expanded in the last decade, but a genre movie certainly doesn't mean it's just like all of the others. If the book is as good as some say, shouldn't the characters and their inner flaws and fears be the true driving force of the movie, assuming the script has caught the right essence?

And in response to Adam, I can see your point about American Beauty's humor, but if this were to have the same tone, wouldn't that be quite repetitive of Mendes, especially since he is delving back into the suburban unrest theme, albeit in the 50's? I'm looking forward to how he chooses to represent the characters, not the 50's. And I can only hope that everyone's concerns are wrong here simply due to the fact that maybe the message being sent isn't that the 1950's suburbia is stifled, but that Kate and Leo's characters are simply insatiable and cannot be satisfied; a fault of their own which I can't wait to see them explore in their performances.

I'm optimistic, so...here's hoping.