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Revolutionary Road - Preview

Revolutionary Road

Preview by Jack Foley

KATE Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio reunite on-screen for the first time since Titanic in Revolutionary Road – but the pairing couldn’t be more different this time around.

Whereas James Cameron’s Oscar-winning epic was a blockbuster that plunged an unlikely romance in the middle of a disaster, Sam Mendes’ character study is a painful look at the disintegration of a marriage.

The actors play Frank and April Wheeler, two former free spirits, who marry, set up home in rural America, start a family and then find the dream turning sour.

As life fails to deliver on the dreams and idealism of youth, the two find themselves arguing, bed-hopping and becoming increasingly disillusioned… until they decide to throw caution to the breeze and embark on a misbegotten plan to cure their malaise by moving to Paris.

The film is based on the 1961 celebrated novel by Richard Yates and very much questions the viability of the American dream.

For Mendes, it’s an intriguing companion piece to American Beauty and one that succeeds in presenting difficult questions for the viewer. Advance screenings have yielded a mixed response… although one thing’s for certain: it’s far from a romantic night out at the movies.

Even though he hadn’t read the book prior to being show the screenplay by his wife, Winslet, Mendes soon jumped at the opportunity upon further investigation.

“I realised what an incredible film it could make, that it could be an exciting, modern story,” he reveals. “There’s so much wisdom and insight in it, and it feels wonderful to finally bring it to a wider audience.”

And he was instrumental in reuniting Winslet and DiCaprio on-screen, adding: “Leo and Kate have known each other since they were 20-years-old. They know each other’s foibles and they can’t pretend to be something they’re not with each other.

“There’s a level of honesty with them, a sense of mutual support and also a kind of testing of each other. Above and beyond that, they have that quality where two plus two equals five – when you put the two of them together, there’s another thing that emerges.”

In the case of Titanic, it was box office gold and Oscar upon Oscar… for Revolutionary Road it could well be further awards. Both stars have recently been nominated for best dramatic actor and actress at the Golden Globes, and the Academy Awards seem to be beckoning a nomination apiece at the very least.

Revolutionary Road opens in UK cinemas on January 30, 2009.