So, I was lucky enough over the past three days to get to personally meet the screenwriter of the movie Revolutionary Road, which I finally saw Sunday night–and I can safely say that the critics in general have been completely unfair in their lukewarm reception of the movie. It’s fantastic. Sure, it’s depressing as hell, but I’ve heard the book (which is now much higher on my reading list) is even darker, and the movie itself is well worth seeing. To put it simply: every Oscar nomination The Reader got should have gone to Revolutionary Road. Thankfully Michael Shannon was nominated for his knockout performance, but Kate Winslet, while in a more histrionic role here, gives one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. There isn’t a single gesture, glance, or line that seems out of place–hell, she even does a different American accent than she did in Eternal Sunshine–and I get the feeling that her Oscar was really for her two amazing performances this year, even if it was officially for the lesser one.
Revolutionary Road is the fairly straightforward story of a marriage going to hell, but if you’re prepared for a dark, depressing journey, it’s well worth your time. The movie is so well-done in every aspect–writing, acting, directing, set design, costumes–that it takes on layers and depth that far transcend the typical “suburbia sucks” motif. I can safely say Revolutionary Road is one of the best pictures of 2008, and it’s worth the money you might spend to see it.