You’ve already watched “Skyfall”, right? And you know who directed it? It’s Sam Mendes, and “American Beauty” is his debut in directing a feature film. Suprisingly, it brought him his first Oscar! Yes, “American Beauty” took five Oscar statues home after being nominated in eight categories on Academy Award 2000. Scoring 8.5 out of 10 on IMDB, “American Beauty” is now positioned on #48 in Top 250 Film. What kind of “beauty” does it bring?
At first you’ll be presented with Lester Burnham (played by Kevin Spacey), an unhappy husband of Carolyn Burnham (played by Annette Bening), in their brittle and frail life. In a school occassion of their teenage daughter, Jean (played by Thora Birch), Lester met Jean’s friend named Angela Hayes (played by Mena Suvari), who he found attractive. Soon Lester slipped into a weird romantic passion to Angela. In the other hand, Jean, who was disappointed with the relationship Lester tried to build with Angela, developed a good friendship with a next-door boy named Ricky Fitts (played by Wes Bentley), who lived in a family dominated with a military-background dad (played by Chris Cooper).
"I feel like I've been in a coma for the past twenty years.
And I'm just now waking up." - Lester Burnham
“American Beauty”, in fact, don’t show any kind of beauty you may have wondered. Surprisingly, “American Beauty” gives you more than just a pedophillic dad or a puppy love. It talks about life. You’ll learn many things about personality, family, passion, and relationship right after you finished watching it. It’s incredible how the exploration of each member of both The Burnhams and The Fitts and the interconnection among them could flow and teach you in an easy, humble way. It’s like we’re displayed by series of things that uncover every character’s concealments triggered by simple actions and clues in the past. Luckily, in the ending we’d be given a sweet, unforgettable conclusion of these whole hectic things.
In the middle part, I admit that it’s somewhat boring. I mean, with the way the story went smoothly from focusing on one person to another, I kinda lost track with where certain characters would be brought into. Helpfully, a great screenplay by Alan Ball could muffle it up with some comedic, depressing, intense, or even romantic scenes. I love the dialogues, and the last dialogues were awesome. I think some nudities in this film were not really necessary, but in the other hand, I love the cinematography of it. I love the light red doors centered around a greyish scene, and I was flattered with the red roses portraying the wild imagination of Lester to Angela. The casts were great, especially Annette Bening for her obsessive, impulsive portrayal of Carolyn Burnham (and I think she deserved to win an Oscar) and, of course, Kevin Spacey for the filthy but surprising Lester Burnham.
I’d like to conclude that the beauty “American Beauty” brings is the beauty of life and us human. It inspiratively show us about our inner self and our capabilites in building a relationship to others. "American Beauty", somehow, could mean as a contradiction in today's American family. Sam Mendes and Alan Ball did such a great job. Silly me for watching it just now, but I could say that “American Beauty” is truly recommended. A great job for a debut, a lesson of life, and an award-winning film. It’s reasonable for five Oscars, including Best Picture.
▲ Great wrap of comprehensive plot
▼ Some nudities were not necessary
AMERICAN BEAUTY | COUNTRY USA YEAR 1999 RATING Rated R for strong sexuality, language, violence and drug content GENRE Drama RUNTIME 122 min CAST Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Mena Suvari, Wes Bentley WRITER Alan Ball DIRECTOR Sam Mendes IMDB RATING 8.5/10 (Top #48) METACRITIC 86/100 (Universal Acclaim) ROTTEN TOMATOES 88% (Certified Fresh) MORE INFO