16 December 2008

Revolutionary Road Hype Train: Blame Kate Winslet

I can stop any time I want to, but for now I point you to the SPOILERY New York Times article SPOILER POSSIBLE: "Kate! Leo! Gloom! Doom! Can It Work?" which credits star Winslet with nudging the project forward, including getting her former costar and her husband (director Sam Mendes) onboard:
Though he would have hated the term, Yates was a writer’s writer, or even a writer’s writer’s writer. He was extravagantly admired by his peers and by many critics; but popular success, which he cared about more than he let on, maddeningly eluded him. He was dogged by bad luck — “Revolutionary Road,” his first novel and also his best, was a finalist for the 1962 National Book Award but lost to “The Moviegoer” by Walker Percy — and bad timing. At a time when postmodernism and meta-fiction were starting to become fashionable, he clung to the realist tradition of his models Fitzgerald and Flaubert... [He] knew his way around Hollywood sufficiently to be skeptical about the movie prospects of “Revolutionary Road.” Right after the book came out, Sam Goldwyn Jr. expressed interest. But Yates wrote later: “Cooler heads in his organization decided that the moviegoing public ‘is not ready for a story of such unrelieved tragedy.’ ... Sic transit the hell Gloria.”
I have always liked Kate Winslet and I really liked her last major adaptation project, "Little Children." Of course, none of this is consoling me in the knowledge that I will be nowhere near New York or L.A. when the film opens there Dec. 25, so I probably won't be seeing this until 2009. But then, we can't let the Hype Train just run out of steam.

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