This is a difficult review for me to write as I’m not entirely sure whether or not I liked the film. It left me squirming and uneasy and wanting to shout loudly in the general direction of the telly pretty much from the first frame onwards. It’s not an easy film to watch — but it is impeccably executed.
The plot looks at the lives of a seemingly perfect young couple in the 1950s — he has a solid job and takes the train to the city each morning. She stays at home with the little ones. They live in the suburbs in a perfect house and neither one of them imagined their lives to be as they are. Underneath it all is a torrent of discontent and the quiet realization that in spite of what their neighbors, friends, and family are telling them, their lives are not quite … well, perfect.
Much of the pre-release marketing push around this film centered on the reunion of Kate Winslett and Leonardo DiCaprio (I half-jokingly started to refer to this film as Titanic 2). It was also directed by Sam Mendes, Ms. Winslett’s husband at the time and I can’t help but think that this film was made better by the in-real-life closeness of the people involved. Their emotions look, feel, and breathe real.