Actress Kate Winslet and her director hubby Sam Mendes (Jarhead, American Beauty) are considering an adaptation of Richard Rates' 1961 novel Revolutionary Road. Here's a description of the "rediscovered" novel from Amazon.com:
April and Frank Wheeler are a young, ostensibly thriving couple living with their two children in a prosperous Connecticut suburb in the mid-1950s. However, like the characters in John Updike's similarly themed Couples, the self-assured exterior masks a creeping frustration at their inability to feel fulfilled in their relationships or careers. Frank is mired in a well-paying but boring office job and April is a housewife still mourning the demise of her hoped-for acting career. Determined to identify themselves as superior to the mediocre sprawl of suburbanites who surround them, they decide to move to France where they will be better able to develop their true artistic sensibilities, free of the consumerist demands of capitalist America. As their relationship deteriorates into an endless cycle of squabbling, jealousy and recriminations, their trip and their dreams of self-fulfillment are thrown into jeopardy.
Update: Forgot to link to the source.
Oh god no. So I guess Ryan O'Neal gave up the rights after decades of promising to "honor" the Yates novel.ReplyDelete
Okay, first off, "Revolutionary Road" is FAR from "Couples" in content. No question about it. If you haven't read it, I urge you to RUN, not walk to the bookstore to pick it up.
Second, Sam Mendes is absolutely not the right guy for this. Richard Yates' novel is all about subtlety and I can't see Mendes shaping this material in any particularly subtle way. Give it to someone with edge and grace. I could see Michael ("L.I.E.") Cuesta or David Gordon Green or Joshua Marston directing this. (And as an aside, why isn't there an American answer to Mike Leigh in terms of emotional naturalism in film?)
But Mendes is too over-the-top a director for this kind of material. Any adaptation needs a naturalist as dogged and as no bullshit as Yates himself was.
I'll be picking up a copy tomorrow... and there's still a good chance Mendes will never get around to doing it either. --KimReplyDelete