1/ Richard Yates
Richard Yates wrote the book in 1962. Revolutionary road was his first novel, and it was nominated for the National Book Award. He also wrote eight other novels and two collections of short stories. He served in the US Army during World War II which transpires in the book because the main characters always reminds their past as American soldiers. He died in1992.
2/ Sam Mendes
He is English and he is married to Kate Winslet. He made American Beauty. He adapted the novel Revolutionary Road into a film in 2008.
3/ Quick summary of the story
April Wheeler is a beautiful woman, married to Franck Wheeler. They have two kids and they live in a beautiful and big house. They met 10 years before the action takes place, and by the time they werewilling to live an extraordinary life. But 10 years after, April finds her life too calm, and too boring. She used to dream of living abroad, Franck had once promised her they would eventually. At the beginning of the book April participates to a really bad theatre show and forget the dream of one day become an actress. She is really unhappy and in order to take a new start in her life, she proposesto her husband to go live in Paris. Frank agrees with her, at the beginning anyway. The other important characters of the movie are their friends Mr and Ms Campbell, the neighbours. Shep Campbell is secretly deeply in love with the gorgeous Mrs Wheeler, and Milly Campbell is totally devoted to her husband. There is also Mrs Givings, the woman who sold them the house.
4/ Introduce and show thescene
The Wheelers have taken the decision to go to live in Paris. They want to inform their friends, the Campbell, of the decision. They are invited for dinner.
First scene : chapter 8
First part: (chap 8 -> 35’) at the beginning Shep asks his wife if “she is going to wear this”. He is unconsciously comparing her to the magnificent April Wheeler. He asks her if “she isgoing to wear this”, and p.146 “he began to wonder what April was doing right now. Combing her hair? Putting on her sockings? He hoped she would wear her dark blue dress”. In the book, his revulsion toward his own wife is really worse. P.144 “He walked over and gave her a little hug. But his smile froze into an anxious grimace against her ear, because in bending close to her shoulder he had caught afaint whiff of something rancid”, and then he explains how his wife sometimes stinks, whereas April Wheeler on the other hand, always smells delicious to him. Then, he sees his kids watching the TV, and he tries to have a chat with them but they do not answer him. In the book, he describes his feeling saying, “this time he had to admit that he’d felt a distinct mild revulsion” toward his own kids.So he walks outside, because he needs to think about something else than his stinking wife and his boring children, and looks at the Wheelers house. His wife and children repulse him, and all he thinks about is April and how madly in love he is with her. This is when they arrive. He sees the pretty April who is actually wearing the blue dress he was hoping she would wear, and we notice thecamera focuses on Kate Winslet and not on Milly. He cannot look anyone but April at this moment. We can also notice that Milly changed her clothes as a devoted and loving wife.
Second part: April tells them they are going to live in Paris. There is a long moment of silence. In the book we may experience really the feelings of Shep. “All the talking stopped dead while he and April looked at eachother again in their private, infuriating way. All right, Shep wanted to say; tell us or don’t tell us. Who the hell cares?” Shep is madly jealous, the entire scene he is only looking at April. He feels a great amount of pain, and in the book he explains how he has to bury the pain deep inside him in order to stay able to keep discussing with his friends. He is in very great pain for several...