"This is the review I have just written that's not here:
STRANGLED BY THE STAGE
Why now? Why did Sam Mendes decide to make this 50s-set film now? Does he see a parallel in the 50s suburban dream and the current get-rich-quick society? The story is a tragedy. Is there foreboding? Does our future look like this?
I think I'm right in saying that Sam Mendes and Kate Winslet have been doing a lot of theatre work in England prior to making this film together. It shows! (As it showed with Winslet as Sophie Scholl). Winslet's acting and Mendes' direction in this film are so measured, hers so enunciated. Even the actor who won an Oscar for playing The Fool was stagey, but perhaps, script-wise, that was unavoidable. DiCaprio struggles valiantly to give the film some spontaneity despite the steam roller that was coming at him, the onslaught of stage-inspired acting and direction from husband and wife team. How this strangled any chemistry between the pair...
Considering the briliant sponaneity of American Beauty, I did wonder if for Winslet and Mendes to work as a team was a good idea. I did wonder if Kate had told Sam that this role was hers and hers alone...
I never believed for one moment that she was part of the scene they hung out with. And wouldn't they have got a sock in the jaw for their attitude of smug superiority? That's not the America I know, then or now..
Kathy Bates and the other supporting cast were also able to bring the breath of spontaneity to their performances.
The settings and props were perfect and the camera that explored them excellent, the editing inspired.
The script is strong. I know this because I was a young thing in the 50s and this kind of tragic situation - girl gets pregnant, man and girl are saddled with each other for life - was all too closely familiar with me. How I felt for Mrs April Wheeler - that 'I am TRAPPED' feeling, TRAPPED by an impending unwanted baby and the life style one is trapped within because of it. This is the film's redemption.
What a pity it didn't come off!."