Sam Mendes’ dirgelike adaptation of the 1961 novel by Richard Yates exerts an undeniable pull as its beautiful, doomed protagonists navigate the ennui of adult life in 1950s suburbia.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet play Frank and April Wheeler, who are leading lives of not-very-quiet desperation. Frank, who works for a business machine company in Manhattan, seems slowly to be becoming his late father. April, who stays at home with the couple’s two children, is clearly miserable.
They make fitful, furtive attempts to be happy: Frank pursues an affair, while April hits on the idea of moving to Paris. The entire psychological arc of the film can be discerned in Winslet’s face, while DiCaprio still seems too boyish to be playing a man coping with the realities of adulthood.
DVD extras: commentary by Mendes and screenwriter Justin Haythe; featurette; deleted scenes with optional commentary. (1:59; rated R for profanity, sexuality and nudity)
Edward Zwick’s often-stirring film dramatizes the true story of Zus and Tuvia Bielski (Liev Schreiber and Daniel Craig), Jewish brothers who eluded their Nazi captors during World War II in what is now Belarus. With a younger brother, Zus and Tuvia helped their fellow Jews escape the German SS and their collaborators by hiding in a forest and joining forces with the Red Army.
Craig and Schreiber are terrific as the slightly thuggish Bielskis, and they’re joined by an able supporting cast that includes Jamie Bell and the wonderful Mia Wasikowska.
Viewers are treated not only to the cathartic pleasures of watching a band of Jewish outlaws gun down their Nazi oppressors, but also to the ambiguous truth that for righteousness to prevail, it helps to have a little larceny in your heart. In Russian, Yiddish and English with subtitles.
DVD extras: commentary by director Edward Zwick; featurettes; trailers. (2:17; rated R for violence and profanity)
“He’s Just Not
That Into You”
Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) throws herself headlong into every relationship she’s in. After an encounter with a real estate agent named Conor (Kevin Connolly), she waits for the callback that’s clearly never going to come.
Janine (Jennifer Connolly) has a husband, Ben (Bradley Cooper), who is distant when they talk about what color to paint a room, while Beth (Jennifer Aniston) has a boyfriend, Neil (Ben Affleck), who refuses to get married.
Restaurant manager Alex (Justin Long) befriends Gigi and talks her through the messages that men routinely send women and that women routinely ignore.
DVD extras: additional scenes with optional commentary by director Ken Kwapis. (2:12; rated PG-13 for sexual content and brief strong profanity)
Also available: “Army Wives: Season 2,” “Prison Break: Season 4,” “Spring Breakdown,” “Weeds: Season 4,” “Razortooth”