This adaptation from Richard Yates’ novel is a success on all fronts – ultimately depressing, but extremely thought-provoking as well. This one got a little left behind among all the other prestige films of last year, but don’t allow yourself to miss it this time around.
The Blu-ray Disc
Revolutionary Road is presented in 1080p high definition with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. I found myself slightly let down by the visual presentation, but only in low-light interior scenes where film grain seemed a little heavy, and there was a noticeable decline in picture sharpness. Elsewhere, the film flourishes in high def, especially exterior shots that depend on a good deal of natural light. The costuming looks great in these scenes, especially Winslet’s pastel array of dresses from the period. Skin tones are consistent, and picture clarity is strong, apart from a few scenes. Black levels do seem to vary a bit, with some extremely rich, and others a bit washed out. The complaints are minor though, as this is mostly the solid visual presentation you’d expect from a Blu-ray of a current film.
The audio is presented in Dolby True-HD, and this is a crisp, dialogue-heavy mix that features quite a good deal of ambient sound, especially in locations such as the train station or the restaurants. Thomas Newman’s gorgeous score sounds particularly excellent throughout.
All of the special features are presented in high def, which is a nice touch that doesn’t happen as often as it should. Close to 30 minutes of deleted scenes are included, with optional commentary by Mendes and screenwriter Justin Haythe. Two fairly standard featurettes on the making of the film and Yates’ novel, both clocking it at close to 30 minutes, are also present. The theatrical trailer and a full-length commentary track with Mendes and Haythe round out the extras.
The Bottom Line
Revolutionary Road probably won’t leave you with a bundle of good feelings, but it’s a spectacularly written, acted, and directed piece of work that’s certain to result in plenty of post-viewing conversation.