American Beauty (1999) – Encore Review


“My name is Lester Burnham. This is my neighborhood; this is my street; this is my life. I am 42 years old; in less than a year I will be dead. Of course I don’t know that yet, and in a way, I am dead already.” – Lester Burnham

Number of Times Seen – at least 10 times (twice in Theater in 1999, video, DVD, 30 Dec 2012 and 25 Feb 2014 and 1 Dec 2021)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A man in his forties gets a new lease on life when he realizes that he no longer is happy with his banal life and wants to be more excited about everything that he does.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing in the theater when it came out and was mesmerized from the start.

The story is all about the way that many people in the world have become so materialistic that the dog eat dog wold that we live in has made them into prisoners in their own lives.

This story is about a character who one day wakes up and isn’t happy with his life and wishes to live a more fulfilling and exciting life.

Some of what happens here is a bit close to crossing the line, but with this kind of character it is somewhat understanding that that is the path he would chose to go.

The characters are all presented in great ways and some feel very one dimensional, wile others feel more developed in their actions and thoughts throughout.

The cast is great with Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Chris Cooper, Thora Birch, Alison Janney, Peter Gallagher and Mena Suvari and Wes Bentley all helping making things so much more gripping to watch.

This film’s tagline is superb because it makes everyone realize that despite what one sees on the outside, things underneath are never as simple as one might suspect.

Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The title of the film refers to a breed of roses that while pretty and appealing in appearance, is often prone to rot underneath at the roots and branches of the plant. Thus, the tagline “… look closer” tells the viewer that when they look beyond the “perfect suburban life” they will find something rancid at the root. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

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