In one of the more heartbreakingly plaintive statements in a movie filled with them, a frustrated young wife tells her husband, "I saw a whole other future and I can't stop seeing it." Revolutionary Road picks at the scab that is the yawning gap between our dreams and the realities of adult life. Based on a poignant 1961 novel by Richard Yates and directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty), the drama follows the ups and downs of Frank and April Wheeler (DiCaprio and Winslet), a seemingly golden couple living the American dream in 1950s suburban Connecticut. So why is neither happy?
While individual scenes pack enormous power and there are perceptive performances by DiCaprio, Winslet and an excellent supporting cast, Road is more of a cerebral journey than an emotional one. There's something a tad clinical about it, as if the characters were specimens under a microscope. TV's far more evocative Mad Men, set in the same era, leaves Road feeling like a warm-up act.