American Beauty (1999)


american beauty“Remember those posters that said, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”? Well, that’s true of every day but one – the day you die.” – Lester Burnham

Number of Times Seen – at least 10 times  (twice in Theater in 1999, video, DVD, 30 Dec 2012 and 25 Feb 2014)

Brief Synopsis – Take a closer look at a normal suburban family and you will see that not all is as it seems.

My Take on it – This is one of my favorite movies and I was so enthralled by it, I even saw it in the theater twice and subsequently more than 10 times afterwards.

Alan Ball wrote an amazing screenplay about a family where nothing is as it seems.  Every character in the movie pretend to be something they are not and it takes a whole for us to see and understand who each person really is.

Sam Mendes, the director here takes Ball’s concept and presents it to us in a fashion where as we slowly start to get to know each character, their problems and issues open up like a flower until they are so open, they finally feel free and comfortable with the way they are beneath the surface.

I don’t want to go into more detail for fear of spoiling the movie.  Anyone who wants to discuss this further can email me at rob@movierob.net (sorry) 😦

The acting here is superb and I can’t think of a single actor who didn’t bring their A-game to this movie.  Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, Chris Cooper, Thora Birch, Peter Gallagher, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari and Allison Janney (pre West Wing) are all spectacular.  Sam Robards and Scott Bakula both have small, but important parts that are also done exceptionally well.

The stand-outs here among this amazing cast are Spacey and Cooper who both showed here how great they both truly are.

The theme of the movie is simple – be your true self in order to get the most out of life because we never know when it will end.

Winner of 5 (of 8) Oscars – Picture, Director, Actor (Spacey, Screenplay and Cinematography.

It lost Actress (Benning), Film Editing and Musical Score.

It is noteworthy that this movie won in a VERY competitive year where the other Best Picture nominees were all also very strong movies – The Sixth Sense (1999), The Insider (1999), The Green Mile (1999) and The Cider House Rules (1999).

Bottom Line – Amazing movie about getting the most out of life and not getting bogged down by it.  Great performances all around especially by Cooper and Spacey! Highly Recommended!

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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17 thoughts on “American Beauty (1999)

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