Massawyrm thinks REVOLUTIONARY ROAD is a great film...he kind of wishes he didn't watch...
Hola all. Massawyrm here.
Every once in a blue moon, and I do quite literally mean that rarely, you see a film that is masterfully crafted, perfectly executed and absolutely flawless…save for one, tiny, insignificant detail: that you really dislike its story and everything it has to say. It’s been a very long while since a film so conflicted me as this film did, but here it is. As a film I can’t point out any flaws. I just quite simply do not like it. It is a frustrating, heartbreaking movie that fills you full of hope only to smash every last aspiration to pieces to make its point. A hopeless, bleak wasteland of a film, Revolutionary Road drives you out into the middle of nowhere and leaves your ass without a coat in hopes of showing you how easy it is to get conned into be driven out into the middle of nowhere on a cold day without so much as a windbreaker.
And yet, it is quite an accomplished ride into a desolate nowhere.
I don’t believe that Sam Mendes hates the institution of marriage, but this film might convince someone that he does. It presents us with three broken marriages, each of them an unhappy example of 50’s era desperation. On the outskirts of the story we have the old couple torn apart by a mentally unstable son. Next door we have a couple with something amiss, the revelation of which paints a heartbreaking PICTURE. And then we have our protagonists – Frank and April Wheeler. Now the casting of these two was a stroke of deranged brilliance. The film opens with us meeting our characters at the moment they first meet. We don’t see them fall in love. We don’t see them share their first kiss. We aren’t even treated to much of a meet-cute. Because we’ve already seen these two fall in love…in one of the most watched love stories of our generation. Putting two people together who made the whole world fall in love is a no brainer.
Putting them together in a film in which that love disintegrates into a loveless wreck on the other hand, is a stroke of fucking genius. It’s like watching a greasy sweaty porno of that Mormon church girl who annoyed you in high school getting plowed by three men with bacne and nine inch schvonces. You don’t watch this to feel those same familiar feelings. You watch it to see something beautiful broken to the point that it can never go back. And it is the casting alone that makes me WANT to like this movie so much. But I can’t. It’s just too hopeless.
Both Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio give their usual top notch performances. These two really are two of the greatest actors of their generation. And here each give layered, wonderfully rich portrayals of 50’s era lovers. He’s a cheating rat and she’s a frustrated housewife watching her dreams evaporate. So when they decide to throw their stepford suburban lives away to move to Paris on a whim, the movie becomes a hopeful treatise to love and how you can save a marriage – how you are free to step away from your life and say “I can change EVERYTHING I don’t like about this existence!” But you can’t. Or so the movie claims. I’m not certain if this is a full frontal assault on the traditional concepts of marriage or a cautionary tale of just what can happen to your life if you let it – the movie is never really clear about which message it wishes to get across to the viewer – but it certainly has a lot of terrible things to say about marriage.
As anyone who has been married will tell you, a marriage has its ups and downs. It’s not just a cliché. The ups REALLY are ups. There are days you wake up, take a look at your wife and think “Dear god, I don’t know why this woman puts up with my shit, but I thank the maker once a minute that she does.” And then you walk around with a smile on your face so wide it has to be pried off with a crowbar. I mention this because I first watched this movie while in one of those phases of my marriage – and this film was like a poison that seeped in and killed every molecule of joy in my body. It is a date killer, a 100% guaranteed method of contraception that will ensure you will not so much as get a quick handy from a girl in the car afterwards.
That said, everything else is perfect. Michael Shannon steals the film for the ten minutes he appears as the crazy, institutionalized son of the local realtor. He speaks the films truths, admitting what no one else has the courage to say out loud – and that makes him crazy in the 50’s. Sam Mendes direction is pitch perfect and he conveys every emotion he attempts to with all the grace of a world class figure skating. He makes it all look so easy. And the score, god the score is magnificently simple – reminiscent of American Beauty just enough to capture that spirit without for a moment feeling like imitation. Even the writing is fantastic. I might despise the story, but the dialog is clever and fantastically Spartan. There isn’t a wasted word anywhere in this film.
But I hate it. I never want to watch it again. The last 10 minutes are so WTF and in your face that it is a very hard movie to love. Which is why you see this film grace a few BEST OF lists without universally being up towards the top of the ones it is on. Incredibly effective AND affecting, this film is for those who enjoy a painful emotional roller coaster. But never ENTERTAINING. It is a film I expect to be nominated for a great many awards, but none of them for overall picture. Fantastic when taken in pieces, I can’t recommend this to any but the most masochistic of film lovers and award season completists.
Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.
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Jan. 9, 2009, 12:43 p.m. CST
Jan. 9, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST
Jan. 9, 2009, 12:45 p.m. CST
His films always seem to be screaming "Look at me! Yes, me!! I'm Oscar-worthy!!!"
Jan. 9, 2009, 12:49 p.m. CST
Jan. 9, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST
funny review, great details and a rather touching but forgetable mental image (morman church girl)I was excited to see this flick, especially after the trailers, but now....meh??
Jan. 9, 2009, 12:58 p.m. CST
Why is that capitalized? For no reason, I assume.
Jan. 9, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST
I remember some reviews I had read about Road to Perdition had the same feel to them, although I enjoyed every last minute of that film. Like "The Departed," I wanted to watch "Road to Perdition" again immediately after finishing it in the theater, and the show ended at 1:00 am. There's just something about great actors and a great director that just make you salivate before, during and after watching the film. I have a feeling this film may get a place not as a film to salivate over, but to be a standpoint for moral imperfections and obligations. Much like "Road to Perdition."
Jan. 9, 2009, 1 p.m. CST
The emos will love(?) it.
Jan. 9, 2009, 1:07 p.m. CST
This is your movie.
Jan. 9, 2009, 1:09 p.m. CST
Everyone does a great job, but you're left depressed and broken afterward.
Jan. 9, 2009, 1:09 p.m. CST
In the massamyrm piture of the day.
Jan. 9, 2009, 1:15 p.m. CST
This dude is a douchBAG! His review is un-mature and not well thought! Come over to martinjunior84/myspace.com and read my review. Way better!
Jan. 9, 2009, 1:17 p.m. CST
...somehow all leave me less than enthusiastic in wanting to see them.<p> Namely this, The Reader, Milk, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Changling, Slumdog Millionaire and possibly even Synecdoche, New York. I'm going to watch them all, sooner or later, and some probably sooner than others, but there's some hesitency on my part, that's certainly a long way from anticipation. They all seem so familiar, so pat, and for all the emotion and "themes" in them, too, too easy in their conspicuousness.<p> Or something like that, I don't know. <p> I should probably admitt that this may well be attributed to something of my own internal meh-ness, rather than anything external of theirs.
Jan. 9, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST
by jason baum
i heard the film can feel a little like they forced to make it seem as though it was a stage play - is this true? also, no bullshit man, this is your funniest article to date! i laughed my ass off at the 'mormon schvonces' & the 'negative quick handy' lines - then re-read them only to laugh harder. great fucking article man, i started to read the book a few weeks ago, and i think i'll wait til i finish to see the flick, but i know this one is gonna be a bummer.
Jan. 9, 2009, 1:27 p.m. CST
That movie was brilliant seeing it as a teenager. Now its lost a lot of its luster. Also, when is the last time they've had a movie in the 1950's where everyone isn't a boozing, adulterous nutcase? I get that there's kind of a myth revolving that decade but it's almost like they to convince us that 50's were never happy for anyone.
Jan. 9, 2009, 1:39 p.m. CST
by slappy jones
winslet and dicaprio are oddly off form I thought. I felt like I was watching a bad play
Jan. 9, 2009, 1:45 p.m. CST
It just doesn't move me at all.
Jan. 9, 2009, 1:58 p.m. CST
Very well acted but to me it felt like a slice of a bigger film, too abrupt......and the mental patient son came across as a too convenient "Greek Chorus" truth revealer for Winslett and DiCaprio.
Jan. 9, 2009, 2 p.m. CST
There was a book "Revolutionary Road" written in 1962 about how "The Greatest Generation" was turning into a bunch of fuck-ups. It was cloned numerous times and set in numerous eras, including "The Ice Storm." Now in 2008 the movie is made but 2 years after the TV clone "Mad Men" hits the air and wins the Emmy for best TV Drama.<p>I'll wait for the cable premiere in Dec 2009.-----later-----m
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:08 p.m. CST
Watch the film, and then think!
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:15 p.m. CST
"a film that is masterfully crafted, perfectly executed and absolutely flawless…save for one, tiny, insignificant detail: that you really dislike its story and everything it has to say." I think you just described my reaction to The English Patient.
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:16 p.m. CST
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:19 p.m. CST
if you want to properly insult somebody by calling them a "douchBAG" you might want to do a bit of research and find out that it's actually spelled "douchebag" Just a heads up for the next "d00ch" that annoys you...
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:20 p.m. CST
by Mel Gibsteinberg
I think absolutely there is a core group of film makers and film lovers who sit to the side and observe the "gee whiz" idealism as seen in the 50's product, and wish to shit upon it. Why? Well its not to offer pure truth, its really because they are depressed and they want the world to understand their depression as depth and brilliance. <P>Let's face it, depressed people often believe themselves to be deep, cause they spend all day long thinking of one thing, THEMSELVES! They are like the Goth's from South Park, sure their observations may be correct from time to time, but do you really want to spend time with these self obsessed a-holes? Hell no!
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST
yeah this movie is really depressing at the end. I still liked it, but probably won't be watching it for a while. it's to good at conveying all of those emotions marriages roller coaster through that I came out emotionally drained at the end.
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:24 p.m. CST
by Mel Gibsteinberg
He's just cold as hell, and spends far too much time trying to deconstruct the world. I suppose he is an anarchist in this way. Show Sam Mendes someone who is happy, successfull, a joy to be around, and an all around great person, and he will beautifully and smartly show you how they are liars, closet alcoholics, cheaters, fakes, and self serving bastards. <P>Damn Sam, who did what to you to make you such a cynical, people hating, pisser. I pity you dude, I really do. There are lots of TB's who are also that cynical, but unfortunately for them they have no talent whatsoever, at least Sam can craft a damn good film.
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:27 p.m. CST
Damn You Michael Bay
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:33 p.m. CST
Slumdog Millionaire is FUCKING AWESOME. Go seek it out. You won't be sorry. Also, Synecdoche, New York is a brilliant film. Of course, I'm inclined to think pretty much all Charlie Kaufman's output is brilliant. But this one is some really untamed, WAY out there crazy genius shit. As far as the other movies, I didn't see the Changeling movie because Clint Eastwood got my money for Gran Torino already, and all the other ones were varying degrees of pretty good to good.
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST
people in Hollywood hate suburbia and average people living conventional lives? Gee, who knew?
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST
by Crimson King
Definitely among the year's best. And I thought Leo and Kate were splendid. It was rather depressing, but that doesn't take away from it's quality as a film.
Jan. 9, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST
2 great movies I saw once and will never watch again.
Jan. 9, 2009, 3:02 p.m. CST
by andrew coleman
Many people won't go see it because it has no big booms! But the acting alone makes this one of the best pictures this year.
Jan. 9, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST
the film is about choices..
Jan. 9, 2009, 3:06 p.m. CST
Jan. 9, 2009, 3:07 p.m. CST
this review was infinitely more depressing than the film its horrifying how dumb some audiences actually are
Jan. 9, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST
Demonstrates an inability to understand the themes of the moves..for fuck's sake.a charater is CONVENIENTLY introduced so retards like massa can actually GET IT. It's probably one of the few actual flaws of the film. Clearly the movie is not dumb enough for the kind of audiences it might meet.
Jan. 9, 2009, 3:19 p.m. CST
Not all movies have to be happy or fun, bleakness can be a great way to express something. I really really liked this. I loved that they appeared to have no chemistry, it added to the characters and Kathy Bates was great as usual. I thought Ebert's review pretty much nailed it
Jan. 9, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST
the worst actor in generations. . Pathetic.. He plays a retard good though.. Kate is hot. I like Turtles.
Jan. 9, 2009, 3:38 p.m. CST
...on the stage and not in film is out of his/her fucking gourd. Whatever you think of this film, you can not deny that Mendes and Deakins know how frame a shot. If you do deny that, you're not paying very close attention to the visual art of film. Like American Beauty and Road To Perdition, this thing simply is cinematic. Among these three films I prefer the departed Conrad Hall as Mendes' DP, but this is still spectacular work in Revolutionary Road.<br><br>If you want to talk about films this awards season that belong on the stage, that would be Doubt and Frost/Nixon. Both are superbly written and acted, but visually they just don't do much for me.
Jan. 9, 2009, 3:42 p.m. CST
One of the key elements of telling someone they didn't *get* a film is continuing on to explain what you got from it. Otherwise you're just blowing smoke up your own ass.
Jan. 9, 2009, 3:44 p.m. CST
the fact that you think Leo is a horrible actor is enough to ignore whatever you say. Anyway, from this review I can see what Massa is talking about because the trailer hit me pretty hard. So I can imagine that its a movie that hits so hard you don't want to see it again.
Jan. 9, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST
Well, I'm not sure I agree with this as the film's message. Yes, the suburban momentum of family life is an uphill climb if you want to change it, but in my opinion in this film they don't make it to Paris because Frank doesn't actually want them to be there. He might despise his lot in life, but from the very beginning he's questioning what exactly "figuring himself out" in Paris is going to yield. It's a fairly common malady: mediocrity, lack of any exceptional talent, etc. I'm still struggling with it myself. I don't have a wife and kids, but I certainly do have an inert, going-nowhere life because of it. Hence, I can relate.
Jan. 9, 2009, 3:57 p.m. CST
by Jack D. Ripper
Shannon DOES steal the entire film in his brief appearance and makes me think he would be a fantastic Riddler in the next Dark Knight film.
Jan. 9, 2009, 4:32 p.m. CST
by Olsen Twins_Fan
Get yer yiddish straight, Massa.
Jan. 9, 2009, 4:54 p.m. CST
what are you a retard AS WELL? Jan 9th, 2009 03:06:34 PM 'the film is about choices..'
Jan. 9, 2009, 5:19 p.m. CST
by Flim Springfield
Jan. 9, 2009, 5:23 p.m. CST
'the film is about choices' totally sums it up in one elegant sentence. you might want to expand on that for people who were left scratching their heads, though.
Jan. 9, 2009, 5:33 p.m. CST
Although, I don't think it is as perfect as Massa says, I do think everyone should watch it simply because how well it is written, and because of the performances... Michel Shannon is AMAZING in his 2 scenes... all and all I thought Capone had a better review for the film, check it out
Jan. 9, 2009, 5:46 p.m. CST
You might think I'm nuts for saying this, but hear me out: I actually think this is one of the most romantic movies I've ever seen. By which I mean, I can't remember the last movie I felt so genuinely was about the degree to which two people can love each other.<P>But not in a good way. I don't think Mendes was saying bad things about marriage, and I don't think he hates marriage either, I mean, Jesus, he probably has to believe in marriage pretty strongly to cast his own wife as the lead in this movie. I think he was more exploring the idea that love can have a horrifically destructive side as well as a redemptive or nurturing one. The real tragedy in the movie is that they do it to each other; they can't admit that their relationship has run its course, and by focusing so desperately and blindly on what they think the other wants, wind up destroying each other. When really all they had to do was say goodbye to each other. But they love each other too much to do that. And that's heartbreaking, but also... romantic.<P>What I really love your this review, though, is that you get that this movie isn't primarily about suburbia, nor some pale retread of AMERICAN BEAUTY. Every single other review I've read gets caught in that trap, not seeing that THAAT is the trap, THAAAAATT is the trap! ...sorry. Hope you see what I'm saying. Thanks for reviewing it.
Jan. 9, 2009, 5:55 p.m. CST
Jan. 9, 2009, 6:08 p.m. CST
it was devastating.
Jan. 9, 2009, 6:18 p.m. CST
by Larry of Arabia
You should read the book. It's brilliant. Fascinating. Magical. And makes you wish you were never born. The brilliant thing is that the traps *spoiler* are all of their own making. *end spoiler* Yeats, who wrote the book, was one of the first to say, "Hey, listen, why are you all staying in loveless marriages while locked in this conformist society? Get divorced for GOD's sake! *MAJOR SPOILER* Have that abortion! *END SPOILER* Break out or end like this."
Jan. 9, 2009, 9:16 p.m. CST
This review makes me want to see this really bad. Bring on desolation and pain!
Jan. 9, 2009, 9:22 p.m. CST
Mendes should stick to theatre. His movie are just so crushingly cold. I read various reviews of "Road to Perdition" and many made the comment that the coldness was intentional in order to reflect Hanks' character's personality, but it doesn't make it any more enjoyable to watch. "Closer" was similar in some ways, albeit not a Mendes movie. It just felt made for the stage, even down to having what felt like Acts (actually, was Closer originally a play? I feel like it might have been).
Jan. 9, 2009, 10:28 p.m. CST
your movie time rooooned! fuckers
Jan. 9, 2009, 10:52 p.m. CST
DUDE that was some funny, funny shit!!! Seriously man I'm rolling on the floor laughing my ass off, so much so that I am typing those words out fully instead of using the usual abbreviations. Please take your show on the road. You'll make a million dollars easily. Awww man it's starting again! Just when I thought I was done laughing I started thinking about how clever and sneaky you are, coming here and posting the end of a movie where everyone can see it and I just got the giggles again!!!! I can tell I'm gonna be thinking about this at work on Monday and telling all my coworkers about how they should come to this talkback and check out what you said. Don't worry though, I won't ruin it for them by telling them-- oh no wait! I forgot how funny it is to do that!!! I *will* tell them what you said, and then *I'll* be the funny one!!!! AHHHHH it's just too too much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jan. 9, 2009, 11 p.m. CST
by Bob Cryptonight
If a film can trigger your emotions without using blatant manipulation (like a lot of Spielberg's stuff or, say, BENJAMIN BUTTON and crap like that), then why can't that be entertaining? You go into a movie theater feeling just the way you ordinarily do, day-to-day, and then WHAM...a movie delivers feelings! To me that is entertaining.
Jan. 9, 2009, 11:32 p.m. CST
Sounds like it captures the essence of the book pretty fucking well.
Jan. 9, 2009, 11:45 p.m. CST
by Cheif Brody
WTF? That is all.
Jan. 10, 2009, 12:28 a.m. CST
A depressing story can be told well, and acted well, and written and shot well, and morons will still say they don't want to see it becuase it didn't make them come the way that "TDK" did. Fuck You. Good stories are sometimes depressing. It doesn't mean they aren't good. Horrible review.
Jan. 10, 2009, 12:37 a.m. CST
So I can't quite imagine what the movie is like. Bleak, I guess. Like the two minutes of the mist bleak, but with a marriage. Still, I can't wait, I usually love movies that crush me. It's cathartic.
Jan. 10, 2009, 1:02 a.m. CST
This review immediately made me think "oh, so it's like 'Closer'?" The thing is, I fucking love 'Closer' and can watch it over and over again. There's a reason the phrase "love hurts" is a cliche. Because it fucking does. People suck. Relationships go bad. Marriages can turn into heaping piles of rubble. And if you ask me, those are things real drama are made of.
Jan. 10, 2009, 3:37 a.m. CST
stop trying so hard to be witty. for fuck's sake, just write a review. you're not half bad sometimes.
Jan. 10, 2009, 3:43 a.m. CST
Great acting from both Leo and Kate, Kate Winslet is so good in this thing it's almost uncanny and Leo really lets loose. I felt bad for BOTH of these people, I HATED both of them. I have no idea what kind of message the film wanted to get across. It raises so many questions and those last moments, realizing what Kate is doing, knowing that she looks at it as her only way out...man. I only know one thing and one thing only right now... ...I'm glad I'm single!
Jan. 10, 2009, 3:52 a.m. CST
this film was SO overblown, over-written, without the faintest sense of realistic emotional interaction. One long Actor's studio excercise. Fake fake fake! I couldn't make it through-- had to dash out to maintain my sanity. And Leo turns everything into a high school play, he's such a baby-face. All the integrity in the world but just can't sell himself in a man's man role, no matter how hard his little kitten face growls and curses. His head is also only 1/2 size of Kate Winslet's, which is not a great look for her. Just sayin'.
Jan. 10, 2009, 4:25 a.m. CST
You're lucky I already saw it before I read your spoilerific comment because if I hadn't I would've, um.... said some very mean things to you on the internet. But still, you're an immature cock face.
Jan. 10, 2009, 5:11 a.m. CST
Within 3 weeks a pack of crazy men will rape your mother and cut your fathers balls off..all because you had to be a douche on the internet. Oh yes and your wife will develop the aids...good work asshole.
Jan. 10, 2009, 5:54 a.m. CST
and WOW... THAT was depressing. The people leaving the theater had the same somber reaction I remember seeing when leaving after se7en years ago. The whole theater walking out of the movie in a dark mood, heads hanging low and silent as a burial service. I wonder how many people will walk out of the theater dialing their divorce lawyer on their cell phone.
Jan. 10, 2009, 7:13 a.m. CST
That is all.
Jan. 10, 2009, 7:14 a.m. CST
Jan. 10, 2009, 7:40 a.m. CST
Support Prop 8.
Jan. 10, 2009, 7:58 a.m. CST
dozens of times. But it's worth it.
Jan. 10, 2009, 9 a.m. CST
But your response was priceless. Verr funny.
Jan. 10, 2009, 10:24 a.m. CST
Naked Leaving Las Vegas Affliction Happiness Requiem for a Dream
Jan. 10, 2009, 11:19 a.m. CST
How does a horse know how to get a divorce??
Jan. 10, 2009, 11:23 a.m. CST
... I really didn't fancy Kate in it that much!!!! I was so shocked, ever since Jack Dawson said, "On the bed... I mean couch", I've fancied the pants off her.
Jan. 10, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST
...Todd Field, Michael Cimino and Todd Solondz.
Jan. 10, 2009, 12:57 p.m. CST
on a movie this boring...although I did want to see it at least this was a reminder to never read a talkback on a movie I haven't yet seen because there is always a low rent piece of shit that will try and spoil it for ya...thank gods it was a movie I could care less about.
Jan. 10, 2009, 1:29 p.m. CST
so does porno only result in mormon girls being completely 'broken', or does that go for the rest of the gals getting joylessly fucked on camera for quick cash and to satisfy the market demands put forth by dudes' masturbatory whims?
Jan. 10, 2009, 1:53 p.m. CST
Looks good, well shot...but shit, it's depressing. And still oddly insubstantial. Do adults really want to watch couples having arguments they've probably had already? Michael Shannon's character may have only been 'crazy' by the standards of the day, but he's still sort of a dick, by any standard. Everybody chafes under societal obligation and social roles. And i don't mean to minimize this in any way, it's painful. I just wish winslet's character could've stuck around long enough to read The Feminine Mystique. Kudos, though, to Mendes for his restraint in the abortion scene, sparing us any scenes of Leo taking a bloodied Kate in his arms and screaming "Nooooooo!!!!" or some such.
Jan. 10, 2009, 2:35 p.m. CST
by Saint Andeol
I'm gonna go masturbate to some right now. Not sure why . . .
Jan. 10, 2009, 2:42 p.m. CST
ahahahaha...that's why we come to AICN...for all the DICKS!
Jan. 10, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST
by Stuntcock Mike
Jan. 10, 2009, 6:44 p.m. CST
...and a comedy for single people.
Jan. 10, 2009, 7:37 p.m. CST
oh noes, you ruint my movies.
Jan. 10, 2009, 11:09 p.m. CST
Brilliantly executed film, riveting performances by amazing actors, interesting story....hated the way it made me feel, it was pointlessly dreary & awful. Wished I had gotten my two hours back. A great movie that SUCKS.
Jan. 11, 2009, 12:47 a.m. CST
I chuckled. Then I hated you. Hope you die.
Jan. 11, 2009, 2:54 a.m. CST
I love it when the credits start to roll and the entire audience leave the theatre looking like they've just been date-raped. Good times.
Jan. 11, 2009, 3:02 a.m. CST
And I thought Mystic River was a heavy-handed kind of depressing that just pissed me off more than anything else. But this movie was brutal and fantastic. Especially in comparison to that. The "Closer" comparison is pretty good, and yeah, I loved that movie too. But this one has more amazing performances, so it's a little better in my book.<p> And for the record, I AM glad I saw it. A good tragedy is still a good movie, last time I checked. This had better not get shut out by the Academy because they think it's "mean to marriage" or something. It's not about that at all - it's about the "American Ideal." Marriage just happens to be part of that, but *SPOILERS* it doesn't attack the institution of marriage - they were given an opportunity to have a happy marriage. They just didn't take that opportunity b/c of Frank's cowardice and reluctance to break away from what was expected of them at the time as a young American couple. And of course, April complied, because that was what was expected of her.*END SPOILERS*<p> Now I really want to read that book.
Jan. 11, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST
One of the best reviews Ive ever read on this site. I saw this movie about a week ago and he was dead on. Its a great depressing movie. Way better than American Beauty.
Jan. 12, 2009, 12:03 p.m. CST
Great suggestion, Jack D. Ripper. Michael D. Shannon would be tremendous as the Riddler.
Jan. 12, 2009, 10:49 p.m. CST
Thoughtful, insightful, well written, and to the point. Thanks for a great review, Massawyrm. I felt something similar when i walked out of Jarhead. That frustration and anxiety, coiled up inside, wanting to burst. Yet, i couldn't shake off how skillfully it was made.
Jan. 15, 2009, 9:42 a.m. CST
FlickChick85 there has it right. It's about conformist society creating traps. Sociological pressure to be something or other than what a person really is or wants to be. Basically it's about weak people, or rather people who do weak things. The marriage and suburbia part is just the most universally broad themes. Though as to how depressing and such that it is. Sure you walk out depressed, but you can see it as a cautionary tale. I really don't think this says anything about marriage as a practice so much as marriage the institution. The whole societally fixed School->Job->Marry->Children->Die path (which is breaking apart these days but was obviously the expectation for the films period. Marriage is about compromise, give and take. You compromise something you may not otherwise want to, to be rewarded in another way. But most people don't get that, they're selfish and greedy. If you're not willing to compromise (like most people I've encountered on this planet) you shouldn't get married. Or rather, the person you're marrying, shouldn't marry you. Someone will be crying.
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