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Revolutionary Road: "Can't I even get away from you in the freakin' woods?"

Photo by Francois Duhamel, Copyright: © 2008 DREAMWORKS LLC. All Rights Reserved


Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are together again on the big screen, and while die-hard Titanic fans might prefer them as passionate lovers encapsulated in an intense, fairytale-esque love story, their equally fiery (albeit often insufferable) relationship in Revolutionary Road does not disappoint.

What struck me, watching the film with my mom, was how trapped April (Winslet) is. A woman with dreams of becoming an actress and moving to Paris, she finds herself as a housewife in the Connecticut Suburbs, a position that allowed few freedoms to women in the 1950’s. She doesn't work, is responsible for running the perfect family, and is obviously resentful for the things she gave up to become a housewife and mother. Frank (DiCaprio), her husband, takes their only car to work every day, leaving her literally and metaphorically stranded in their quaint home.

In one scene, April and Frank are in a heated argument, and April bursts out of the house, infuriated, escaping to the only place she can find – the woods across the street. She is running in her high heels and apron, and her husband dutifully follows her, asking her to come home. “Can’t I even get away from you in the (freakin’) woods?” she cries.

I laughed. The degree of April’s isolation is almost comical in itself, and here she is, practically hiding behind trees, and she still cannot get away. Surely today, with women working, with their own cars and freedoms, this isn’t such a problem, I thought. But while I was laughing, my mother was much more stone-faced. Afterward, she confessed that she knows exactly what it's like to feel a little trapped and overwhelmed. “Every woman has her own woods that she has to run to sometimes,” she said.

Is being a homemaker still stifling, even with all the advancements women have made? If April and Frank were married today, would their marriage carry this much strife? Do all women need their own woods to run to?

Revolutionary Road, Rated R, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Michael Shannon, and Kathy Bates, premiers January 15.


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