I may be biased because, after all, this is Sam Mendes, but this movie really struck me as very near perfect. Takes a look at a couple really far from the societal norm at the time and their struggle to remain together without caving to their peers' opinions. «Who made these rules anyway?»
“RR” looks and feels like a generic Hollywood production but thanks to Yates’ book and a successful adaptation of it, the movie surpasses the standard dramas. The story poses unpleasant questions which most of us have to face and from which the rest have to hide. Kate Winslet is amazing, as is Michael Shannon as John Givings, the truth speaking loony, a character that could come only from the mind of a great author.
Kate Winslet is absolutely phenomenal- I mean this, The Reader & Little Children are 3 of the most extraordinary performances by an actress I've seen. Her & Cate Blanchett are the best of their era in my opinion. I like Leo but he was completely acted off screen here. Would've preferred Todd Field directing as Mendes' films always feel a bit incomplete to me- like there's something missing in the script but still.
I'm in awe. It is delighting to watch Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio together again portraying this apparently picture-perfect, although troubled, couple in an incredibly dark dramatic story about the loss of purpose in life and the incapability of dealing with a "hopeless emptiness" that came upon them from a claustrophobic everyday routine where nothing in their world is as special as they thought it would be.
The photography is pretty, like an Edward Hopper’s painting. But the film didn’t catch all the facets of April’s and Frank’s personality. I guess Yates' book is not the best material for a screenplay, Frank and April say one thing, but they mean the opposite, how are you supposed to translate that into a movie? So many important scenes are missing. For one, why isn’t Frank building the garden’s path?
Mendes continues his irrational fear of the suburbs in this polished but silly piece of “serious filmmaking”. That I find his films imminently watchable is only a small consolation to the fact that this material is taken way too seriously – the idea that Frank and April would find Eden in Paris is laughable and that the film treats it as a matter of life and death with tasteless histrionics is an oversight.
Gut wrenching relationship drama. The escalation of animosity that the two of them experience can only reach these heights in a period when relationships were sustained beyond their natural end - It's frightening how their obligation to each other slowly erodes their personalities. Beautifully directed, gorgeously shot; forget Bond, this is Sam Mendes at his best.