Monday, September 29, 2008

Revolutionary Road

I'm just getting into Richard Yates' novel Revolutionary Road. This is going to be a brutal read. The story is written with unaffected insight and objectivity. The kind that usually only comes decades after events, after the author has had time to process things enough to write about them honestly. I imagine Yates must have been driven by outrage as much as creativity in order to publish this novel in 1961.

Photo: cover of Richard Yates' novel Revolutionary Road

While the story is set in the 50s it could just as easily take place today. So many today are trapped in the same soul-killing jobs and lives as Frank and April Wheeler. So many today face the same daily compromises, frustrations, and embarrassments. Really, nothing has changed in five decades.

Sam Mendes brought Alan Ball's examination of suburban duplicity, 'American Beauty', to life with frightening aplomb. I'm sure he will do the same with Justin Haythe's script for 'Revolutionary Road'. The difference is Revolutionary Road is anchored in everyday reality. For that very reason, because it is concerned with the mundane, it's a much more frightening story.

Photo: still from Revolutionary Road

I can't think of two better actors than Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio for this story. I'm looking forward to this movie.

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