Revolutionary Road – 5

How you feel about Revolutionary Road, either the book or the faithful movie adaptation, depends on how you react to Frank and April Wheeler, for this is really a character study. They are certainly not likeable characters, but that wouldn’t matter if they were comprehensible. And they should be equal. Unfortunately, Kate Winslet is an acting heavyweight, while Leonardo DiCaprio comes across as a half. His face is square and doesn’t fill the screen; Winslet’s is long and does. His physique is frailer than all the men around him and, unlike them, he looks silly in his ‘50s attire. And there must be some way of venting anger in between Eastwood’s teeth-gritting and Leo’s sweeping his wife’s cosmetics off her dresser. Putting this book onscreen is a tough assignment, better suited to a Japanese director, I suspect, and casting is crucial. Here, Leo and Kate just didn’t work.

Gran Torino – 3

Without question, the worst-acted movie of the year, and the plot warn’t much better. Other than Eastwood, the actors seemed to be reading their lines, after checking the teleprompter. Eastwood’s softening to the Hmong family next door belied his characterization, and Sue’s bold approach to him made little sense, either. On top of The Changeling, I fear that Clint’s best days are behind him.