"I saw a different life. I can't stop seeing it": Perfectionist visions in Revolutionary Road

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In this article, I claim that Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road (2008) is a recent version of the film genre that Stanley Cavell calls the “melodrama of the unknown woman”. Accordingly, my discussion focuses on two key elements of that identification: the film’s overriding dramatic and thematic emphasis on conversation, and the central characters’ relation to the wider social and political concerns of America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-271
Number of pages21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2021


  • Stanley Cavell
  • Sam Mendes
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Kate Winslet
  • melodrama
  • unknown woman
  • moral perfectionism
  • Hollywood

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