Actors: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening
|Review Summary and Plot Commentary about American Beauty|
|Kevin Spacey plays Lester Burnham, the typical, middle-aged suburban businessman/husband/father who is fed up with his life in a cubicle. After blackmailing his company for a year's pay, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, while smoking pot, enjoying each day at a time, and developing a dangerous crush on his teenage daughter's best friend.
--Cheney, Resident Scholar
|The main character (Spacey)is going through a mid-life crisis because of his nagging wife and unemotional daughter. His wife (Benning) abandons him and has an affair with a co-worker, while his daughter (Thora Birch) becomes involved with the new neighbor.
--Keri Apodaca, Resident Scholar
|Winner of 5 oscers, including best picture in 1999, American Beauty is one of the few films which exposes the true despondency in ordinary American society. Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is trapped in a world of toremted ennui, constantly battling the fight to become happy in his twisted marriage, which is ultimately for show. He begins to vicariously obsess over his neurotic daughter Jane's (Thora Birch) best friend Angela (Mena Suvari).
--James Hoffman, Resident Scholar
|An excellent movie about a grown man who goes through a mid-life crisis, and in the most extreme way. Lester, the main character goes through this change when fired from a job, and gains an obsession with a high school student, who happens to be his daughter's best friend. Speaking of the daughter, she is just a teen trying to fit in but not really succeeding until she meets the creepy boy next-door, who always has his camera ready. This boy is a drug dealer who happens to sell weed to Lester, and successfully avoiding his homophobic father by having clean urine samples on hand.
--Duchess, Resident Scholar
| This movie was great!! It's a complex story about a hellish suburbia. Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) has a horrible job, family, and life. His wife, Carolyn (Annette Bening) is a very image driven real estate agent, and his daughter Jane (Thora Birch) is just plain unhappy with her parents and her life. Lester's life begins to change when he sees Jane's friend Angela (Mena Suvari), and so does Jane's, after she meets next door neighbor Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley).
Reasons for loving this movie...
1. Performances, they were INCREDIBLE!!
2. Plot, wickedly funny, emotional, and sad all at the same time
3. Soundtrack, very good, upbeat, slow, sad, happy,
4. Cinematography, very very good, nice lighting, camera angles
5. Rose Petals...gotta love 'em!!
--Margaret, Resident Scholar
|This movie takes place in a suberb area where a man's infatuation with his daughters friend becomes an obsesion. Also durring this time he is becoming more of a deep person again and starts to smoke grass, again. It's trully moving and great preformenses by the actors, winning numerous awards. If you are looking for a deep motion picture, rent American Beauty.
--Mike Kessler, Resident Scholar
|A beautiful film. Very well done photography. Spacey plays Lester Burnham, an office employee who's come to the end of his rope. His wife, caroline (Bening) is a domineering, cold, real estate saleswoman. A dark comedy of a dysfunctional suburban family. Everything eventually falls apart as they drift farther and farther away from each other. A triumph for first time director Sam Mendes, American Beauty is an excellent dark comedy, and a sad commentary on modern life, and what we value most.
--Evan, Resident Scholar
|This movie brings out your mind.It really makes you think is life just a system should you just stop and break out?It questions just what this thing called "life" really is.Lester Burnam (Kevin Spacey) is a guy who has a mid life crisis and decides he wants out.He portrays one of the best characters ever known in a movie.Look closer.....
--Scott Thomas Gross, Resident Scholar
|American Beauty is about a funny, moving and shocking life about families in suburban America. People discover who they are and find out just exactly what other people are like.
--Emma Knight, Resident Scholar
|Kevin Spacey is a family man going through a midlife crisis who falls for his daughter's best friend. Eventually, he sees the light.
--Phil, Resident Scholar
|Attraction to his daugher's friend, Lester Burnham re-evalutes his life. He looks closer at what is really important. During this time, his daughter falls for the philosopher who just moved in next door.
This movie is about having a meaninful life and most consevitive people will not understand the concept and art of it. Between the incredible loser Lester starts out as, and Frank Fitts USMC, there are plenty of funny parts to make this drama something of a comedy.
This movie is a true film
--Grey Culver, Resident Scholar
|A man in his 40's goes through a mid-life crisis and quits his job, begins working out and lusts after his teenage daughter's best friend. He tries to redeem the life he had before he got bored of it.
--Diane, Resident Scholar
|Lester Burnham is an office rat wh has lost the joy of life. His wife is a real bitch, his daughter hates him, and his job stinks... a real rat race that is... little by little, he starts to do something about it... A stunning story about finding the beauty in life and doing waht you wanted to do... highly recommended.
--Tero Hakulinen, Resident Scholar
|Probably the best American movie of 1999 -- a fact duly acknowledged by Oscars awarded for the film itself, direction, screenplay, cinematography, and Kevin Spacey's awesome performance as Lester Burnham. Lester is a burned-out middle-aged ad copywriter married to the ultimate suburban yuppie bitch (a Realtor, of course), played to perfection by Annette Bening. He quits his job, buys a 1970 Pontiac Firebird, fantasizes about his alienated daughter's cheerleader girlfriend, and does serious weightlifting. Meanwhile, his daughter becomes fascinated by the voyeuristic, drug-dealing boy next door whose homophobic retired military father beats him. Besides being a portrait of suburban hell and midlife existential crisis, this gorgeous, funny, and thoughtful film ultimately hails the inherent meaning and beauty of life itself. A triumph.
--David Loftus, Resident Scholar
|The best drama I've ever seen. Especially since I'm not much on drama movies. This will make you open your eyes to the world around you. Kevin Spacey is his usual brilliant self!
--Steve Schmitz, Resident Scholar
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|Analysis of American Beauty|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Time/era of movie:
Kind of romance:
- inconveniently married while playing footsy
Inner struggle or disability
- midlife crisis
Taboo Sex Story?
- much older/younger
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
- brunette (Brown)
- (man) short/standard straight
- (man) average
- Chest and Buttocks
Events of movie makes character more...
- White (American)
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor?
- Cynical sense of humor
Secondary Main Character
- brunette (Brown)
- (woman) ample bosom & buttocks
How much in movie?
- White (American)
- brunette (Brown)
- White (American)
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
Sex/nudity in movie?
What kind of sex:
- seeing breasts
- seeing nude male butt
- sex under blankets
- Some foul language
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).