I do love me some good whiny suburban angsty nihilism. And “Revolutionary Road” has it, and then some. Director Sam Mendes returns to familiar American Beauty territory, winds back the clock, and then casts his wife and the other guy from Titanic in the leads. And you know what? It works. Based on a novel by Richard Yates, “Revolutionary Road” is about a young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s and their struggle with personal problems while trying to raise their two children. Although you won’t really see a whole lot of their children. Now listen up haters: Leo and Kate are actually really good actors. They got caught up in the Titanic tidal wave and rode the shit out of it but it didn’t change what they could do. We could all do without “The Beach” and other nonsense, but After “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” Leo was ready to be the next Johnny Depp. Kate even has a great sense of humor, as seen in the first episode of Ricky Gervais’ “Extras.” So let’s give them some credit, as they deserve it. They each give fantastic, organic performances and all through the movie you relate to them they bring their characters to life so completely that as you’re watching you just wish Frank and April would get their shit together. The movie ramps up and down and Mendes lets things cool down before he heats them up and although you know things are about to change, you go along with him for the ride. Mendes knows you know. So he takes you there by a different route. He also raises some thought provoking questions: Is severe unhappiness a mental disorder? Does not wanting to conform to society’s unwritten rules and wanting something else out of life make you crazy? Mental patient John Givings, played convincingly by Michael Shannon, has a very odd role in the film. He sees through the bullshit, but more interestingly he actually vocalizes the subtext of the film like pointing out the “hopeless emptiness” that people feel. It’s almost as if he’s the on-screen cliff notes for the dumber viewers. “What did Leo really mean?” “Shhh, the crazy person’s about to explain it.” “Oh.” It’s a tribute to Mendes that he makes this character work when it should feel extraneous. By the way, note to ALL drama filmmakers: Please think of a new way to show someone is upset and/or angry than throwing everything off of a dresser, table, or anything else with a lot of knick-knacks on it. That’s about as played out as the baguette sticking out of the paper bag to show someone was at the grocery store. This is a great drama that will stay with you. It’s about as uplifting as “American Beauty” but you knew that going in, didn’t you? If you want a tear jerky uplifting film go rent one of those retard sage movies like “Forrest Gump” or go see “Benjamin Button”. This one’s all drama, and the better for it. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get one Oscar movie a month, instead of them all at once at the end/beginning of the year? Why not give us something good in February, instead of shelved studio horror crap? It’s a crowded playing field right now, but take the time to see “Revolutionary Road”. It’s worth the trip. Especially if you’re bored with Brad Pitt about now.