Film Screening 8th May, 2009

Poster for Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road 

8:00 PM, 8th May, 2009

  • M
  • 119 mins
  • 2008
  • Sam Mendes
  • Justin Haythe
  • Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Shannon, Ryan Simpkins, Ty Simpkins

Revolutionary Road is Sam Mendes's fourth movie to date. His first attempt, American Beauty, gave us the story of a disgruntled suburban nobody. His second movie, Road to Perdition, gave us the story of a disgruntled Mafioso trying to start a new life for himself and his son. Mendes then gave us Jarhead, about a bunch of disgruntled soldiers in Iraq who didn't even get to fight. Revolutionary Road shows us husband and wife Frank (DiCaprio) and April Wheeler (Winslet) living an increasingly disgruntled life after moving to a peaceful suburban lifestyle. The subtly underlying theme of disgruntled individuals is, of course, in jest.

All three of his previous films brought a simple relevance and beauty to their topic: middle-class life, organised crime and war. The seemingly simple-plotted movies he tells are rich in character, emotion and intrigue. Revolutionary Road is no different. The story chronicles Frank and April Wheeler after moving to the suburbs and the trials of keeping a failing relationship together. There are propositions to move to Paris, affairs and fights; all the saucy stuff we like to see and gossip about in someone else's relationship. At the time of this writing, the movie has not been released, but is nonetheless already receiving attention from critics and awards ceremonies.

Revolutionary Road should prove to be an intimate look at a 1950s nuclear family gone wrong: in a time when the Cold War was the stuff of hushed words and silent suburban fear, the American Dream was a strong indicator of everything that was right in the free world. This movie should give us a glimpse of the truth behind the trials and stresses surrounding the drive towards the fa├žade of the Dream; the ugly truth; but if that doesn't float your boat just come to see another movie about another disgruntled couple that you secretly love to judge.

Stephen Gillies

Poster for How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People 

10:14 PM, 8th May, 2009

  • M
  • 110 mins
  • 2008
  • Robert B. Weide
  • Peter Straughan
  • Simon Pegg, Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox, Jeff Bridges, Gillian Anderson

Sidney Young is an aspiring writer/journalist and editor of a small alternative magazine in the UK on the verge of failure. His career prospects improve when he gets a call from the head of an upscale celebrity/style magazine and is offered a job in New York City. Sidney makes the move, and soon finds himself in a battle between selling out for success and remaining true to himself. Plenty of gags, social gaffs, celebrity satire and a reluctant love story keep you laughing for most of the film.

One reviewer described this as a male-centric version of The Devil Wears Prada, and I think that's a fair comparison. Simon Pegg (of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead fame) teams up with a mainstream cast in this film adaptation of writer Toby Young's memoir. This is light-hearted comedy with both base and sophisticated gags that appeal to a broad range of tastes.

Shaun Howard