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The Haunting on Revolutionary Road

Winslet and DiCaprio awake to the nightmare

Perhaps owing to his stage background, Mendes is the sort of movie director who tends to come up with a single, all-­encompassing stylistic concept and then rarely deviates from it. That seemed like a shortcoming in his previous films, but in Revolutionary Road it translates into a stately, semi-detached, observational approach that makes it seem as if Frank and April Wheeler's Good Housekeeping home were itself directing the movie. Which is only fitting for a film that, by the end, turns into a far more unsettling haunted-house story than The Amityville Horror. An ex-critic friend complained that this gave him the feeling of watching two John Cassavetes characters trapped in a Yasujiro Ozu film, but this, it seems to me, is precisely the point. Even after Frank and April's climactic knock-down, drag-out argument, chez Wheeler is markedly undisturbed — sitting there, biding its time, waiting to devour its next victims and their futile ambitions.

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