It is a coincidence that I already posted one Kate Winslet movie. I do really like her as an actress but her performance in this one is by far my favorite. “Haunting” would be the word I choose for her acting in this movie. “Disturbing” is the word I use for the movie. But that’s how I like them. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Frank Wheeler who in the book is supposed to be less than attractive. Not ugly but not fit and chiseled either so that might be one tiny casting flaw. Watching the movie first, I thought he was perfect for the role. Then I read the book and learned how Yates intended him to be.
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates is one of those books that stays with you. Phrases keep popping into my head and it is definitely the kind of subject matter I think every married couple can relate to. Marriage starts out great, loses flair, children complicate, look to add more flair, fail. Reading this book, I hated April Wheeler so much I wanted her to fail.
I watched the movie before I read the book and I am still not sure which is better to do. I guess sometimes it’s nice to watch the movie first so that the book is easier to read but other times if you watch the movie first you get lazy about reading it because you know how it ends. This book has the same ending as the movie but there are added scenes in the movie. . . haunting scenes that were not in the book. I think the creators of the movie did a really good job, however I am picking the book as being better than the movie here because the way Richard Yates describes post-WWII suburbia is top notch. I loved the part where he describes an argument between the married couple with the cartoons playing in the background- how it makes the argument feel surreal because it is so stupid and pointless, just like the cartoons. Only Yates can describe it!