As the major critics wait to reveal details of their feelings about Revolutionary Road, we have to rely on opinions passed along from trusted friends. Not all critics can work for big name publications, pull down comfy salaries, and publish their reviews like rulings handed down from the Supreme Court — but there are other intelligent, reputable and reliable voices out there nonetheless. It’ll be fascinating to see how the mainstream critics converge or veer off from the early praise we’re hearing, but I see no reason to wait for Kenneth Turan or Mick LaSalle to harrumph in with their proclamations when I don’t always agree with them anyway.
Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
We’ve seen Winslet pinned behind these window panes before, trembling. Here, though, her material is meatier, more about aging and the death of dreams, and she is spellbinding, particularly as she closes down. DiCaprio launches himself into terrific Nicholsonian rages with Winslet; they both seem secure as performers and it’s tempting to think of this as the Titanic generation’s graduation. The movie is occasionally prestigey (it’s time to put composer Thomas Newton out to pasture), but no film featuring Bug’s ferocious Michael Shannon, as a neighbor’s mentally disturbed son who has weird insights, could be confused for mere Oscar fare.
Dan Callahan, The House Next Door
The casting is ideal all down the line: how can I begin to describe the pleasure I took in Kathy Bates’ performance as Mrs. Givings? Some of the best sections of Yates’ book concern Mrs. Givings’ sadly paltry inner life, and there’s no way for the film to give you that sense of her, not even in dialogue, yet all of it is there in Kathy Bates’ eyes, all of this woman’s confusion and hurt feelings and fear, which she tries to conceal with a steady stream of cheerful, slightly pretentious small talk.
Katey Rich, Cinemablend
Adapted as it is from a novel that spends huge sections inside its characters’ heads, it’s remarkable how well Revolutionary Road is able to capture the same truths about its characters. Small gestures take on huge significance, entire series of emotions wash across a face within seconds– all of the actors, from Winslet and DiCaprio down to Kazan, work together beautifully to externalize a story that’s all about what’s never said.