It’s a relief to watch a movie trailer like the one for Revolutionary Road (due Dec. 26), a promo with no omniscient voiceover, a clip that trusts you as a grown-up to be able to figure out what the movie’s about – in this case, an unhappily married 1950s couple (Titanic lovebirds Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet) who feel trapped in their suburban routine. Still, while Kate and Leo seem convincing enough, and the production appears handsomely mounted, this still looks like a prequel to director Sam Mendes’ first movie, American Beauty. I know there’s a lot more to the story (based on Richard Yates’ novel) that’s not even hinted at in this clip – notably, a significant section of the tale that takes place in Paris – so why not show that? Wouldn’t a postcard Eiffel Tower shot make the film look even more enticing to potential viewers? Or would it just look confusing in the midst of images of retro Middle America? Guess the trust in the audience’s intelligence goes only so far.
UPDATE: D’oh! Having misread EW’s preview of the film, I thought the couple actually made it to Paris. Apparently, they remain stranded in suburbia. So the trailer doesn’t misrepresent or short-sell the movie after all. Sorry about that. Still, that makes it look even more like American Beauty’s step-parent, doesn’t it?