April is a failed artist, and so lives at home taking care of her children. Frank is a businessman, and works at a dead end city job. Both are disillusioned, finding little substance in the daily grind of life. From here on the film merely rehashes themes fully covered by Antonioni half a century ago. Frank and April see their dissatisfaction, firstly, as sexual unfulfillment, and secondly, as a product of their environment.
Kate Winslet Dishes on Sex Scenes with Leo - Oh No They Didn't!
I have seen both films - twice - over recent months in the case of The Reader, an early rough-cut version and this week a nearly completed film and they represent an actress at the height of her considerable powers. In Revolutionary Road, based on Richard Yates's novel about being trapped in post-war Fifties suburbia and a marriage that crumbles before our eyes, Kate plays April, a woman who tries to hide the growing awareness that there will be no American dream for her. It's the first time she has worked with Sam directing her, and several great moments stick out, including one which shows, devastatingly, how her marriage to DiCaprio's Frank has withered. The scene is made even more powerful because DiCaprio has to smash a chair in his rage and despair. Kate says she told her co-star to go for it. It just went flying. Those kind of things happen.