American Beauty (1999) Movie Summary
Kevin Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a man in his mid-40s going through an intense midlife crisis; he's grown cynical and is convinced that he has no reason to go on. Lester's relationship with his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) is not a warm one; while on the surface Carolyn strives to present the image that she's in full control of her life, inside she feels empty and desperate. Their teenage daughter Jane (Thora Birch) is constantly depressed, lacking in self-esteem, and convinced that she's unattractive. Her problems aren't helped by her best friend Angela (Mena Suvari), an aspiring model who is quite beautiful and believes that that alone makes her a worthwhile person. Jane isn't the only one who has noticed that Angela is attractive: Lester has fallen into uncontrollable lust for her, and she becomes part of his drastic plan to change his body and change his life. Meanwhile, next door, Colonel Fitts (Chris Cooper) has spent a lifetime in the Marine Corps and can understand and tolerate no other way of life, which makes life difficult for his son Ricky (Wes Bentley), an aspiring filmmaker and part-time drug dealer who is obsessed with beauty, wherever and whatever it may be.
American Beauty Film Synopsis
Lester Burnham, a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis, decides to turn his hectic life around after developing an infatuation with his daughter's attractive friend.
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American Beauty Movie Reviews
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Cinema-magic.American beauty is one of the best films of our decade. sam mendes is one of my favorite directors. this movie certainly deserved it's best picture award..Score: 5/5
AwfulYuck ...this movie is discusting.Score: 1/5
Hi I'm Ricky FittsThis movie helps one come to terms with beauty and lifes twisted sence of reality. A wonderful well rounded film. It won all of those awards for a danm good reason. Because the world is round. It turns me on..Score: 5/5
American BeautyI would love to have the great talent for prose as some of the writers on this review log ("revlog"?). The story took me back to childhood, even tho I didn't experience many of the same experiences. The childhood I experienced was simply my own adolescence, and the way I looked through my own father's eyes. There had always been influence from him to be the feminine, delicate yet sexy young lady that was the expectation I could never live up to, no matter how hard I tried. So to see this film, and experience all of those feelings again (even tho Kevin Spacey's father-image was turned on by his daughter's best friend) was cathartic. The soundtrack only added on to the emotive nature of this experience for me. And I'm looking for that soundtrack on iTunes, after I "found myself" within my own expectations, and not his (he died in 1996). And I still love him, and wish he were still here..Score: 5/5
American Beauty....I love it.This is the only movie that I have ever gone back to see at a movie theatre twice. You will love it. Kevin Spacey and Annette Benning are amazing. Buy it, you won't be disappointed..Score: 5/5
Brilliant, Absolutly Brilliant!American Beauty is an extremely well written, depressing, original, well acted piece of cinema. This movie was a perfect way for Sam Mendes to start his career and next to The Usual Suspects and L.A. Confidential, this movie made a star out of Kevin Spacey. Also the other cast members including Annette Benning and Chris Copper were all excellent as well. Like I said before, American Beauty is also a very depressing movie as well because it focus's on troubled suburben life style's and a disfigured relationship between Kevin Spacey and Annette Benning. Also Kevin Spacey's daughter really hates him and her mother and Kevin Spacey has a crush on his daughter's friend, and the new neighbor next door has father (played by Chris Copper) is a war veteran has a crush on Kevin Spacey's daughter and likes to sell him drugs. This concept might sound weird (it is kind of), but you really get into the characters and you feel Kevin Spacey frustration of how bad his wife treats him. This movie in my opinion is a masterpiece and it deserved to win it's 5 oscars (including Best Picture, Best Directer, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography). It's definetly worth ten bucks..Score: 5/5
Spec-tac-ularI have wanted to see this movie for a while and i knew it was going to be good, but now its my favorite movie of all time. plus one of the best parts of this movie is the music. Just Spe-tac-ular ( see the movie and you will get it).Score: 5/5
Truly One of the Best Movies EverDelving into the inner workings of a dysfunctional, though seemingly "normal", family has never been done better than in this movie. Every character has such depth and realism that you see past the facade each puts on and really get to see what makes them who they are inside. Even the secondary characters have you feeling for them (Ricky's mom especially) and wishing their lives were better, happier. You can't help but contemplate your own life and the people in it after watching American Beauty. Destined to become a genuine classic..Score: 5/5
A truly american filmFor me the year 1999 has to be one of the best years in film. That was a year of some really interesting and intriguing films, films that include Fight Club, Being John Malkovich, The Sixth Sense, Star Wars Episode 1, and The Matrix. It seems that something happened to the filmmakers that year and they decided to make more risky and maybe more films that reflect the usual man’s boring humdrum life. Films like Office Space, Fight Club, The Matrix and the best picture winner of the year American Beauty all have characters that seem to “wake up”, quite literally in the Matrix and realize how boring their lives are and all try and do something about it. None of the films are quite as realistic as American Beauty. It’s a story of a man who lives the apparent American Dream. The great 2 story house complete with shutters and the bright red door does a great job of hiding and trapping Lester Burnham, played by Kevin Spacey, inside. He works at an advertising agency and after “waking up” he quits his job and “blackmailed him for almost sixty thousand dollars. Pass the asparagus.” Then he gets close to his new neighbor who starts selling him pot and he “wakes up” even more. He buys a new car and just enjoys the new found freedom. All the while his new neighbor who sells him the pot, Ricky Fritts, starts to become enamored with Lester’s daughter and her friend played by Mena Suvari, tells her that Ricky is a freak and was institutionalized. Turns out Ricky almost beat some kid to death. And Ricky’s father, a strict ex-Marine, watches his son with a close eye; he gives them urine tests every six months to make sure that he doesn’t do drugs. But Ricky is very smart and has ways around it. And all the while that Ricky gets close to Lester’s daughter, Lester’s wife starts to sleep with a rival real estate agent. My only real problem with the film is that there is no catalyst as to why Lester "wakes up". We start the film and already realized how boring his life is, but that is just a small this to complain about I guess. A lot of things happen in this film, but it’s not really all that complicated to watch. It’s a quite simple film with a dry and quirky sense of humor. Overall I think that it’s a great slice of life and it’s a great reflection of what many families were like in the pre 9/11 America. A, 4/5.Score: 4/5
WeirdThis movie is one word...weird!!.Score: 1/5
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It was an "okay" movieNothing special. Definitely not my "watch again" list..Score: 3/5
A Must See MovieVery well written and very entertaining. If you liked this movie and think nothing could top it, try watching Requiem For A Dream or Fight Club..Score: 5/5
20 out of 5 Stars!!..A cinematic Masterpiece by director Sam Mendes; every scene is flawless! Organic, wholly unrestrained fluid acting! Hypnotic & phenomenal performance by Kevin Spacey, who transforms himself into Lester. A musical black comedy, both funny & moving. Everyman Lester Burnham's apparent demise is introduced to us in his narrative voice. Stellar performances all around, particularly by Annette Bening & towering veteran actor Chris Cooper! The best movie that I've seen to date, it deserves 20 out of 5 stars!!.Score: 5/5
My Number One Favorite MovieIt's no wonder this movie won picture in '99. This is my all time favorite movie. Realistic and deep. No other movie is like it. If your a fan of Six Feet Under this movie is for you. Same creator!! 5 stars all the way..Score: 5/5
A must see!Great movie I would really reccommend!!!!!.Score: 5/5
Français?Mettez le en français svp!! French version please!.Score: 2/5
Felt Awkward Dad Lusting Teen GirlFilmed beautifully. The writing and acting is fantastic. Pace is just about right. Yet, American Beauty of a 16 year girl (she does look the age) being lusted and fantasized by a middle age father is simply wrong. Don't care if this is Art, but felt like a Pedophile. I might be in the minority, but with children being kidnapped, allowing a movies of this nature to consider this acceptable is deeply disturbing..Score: 1/5
Dramatic mixed with humourAmerican Beauty is not a very funny film but provides enough comic relief for some intense moments. Amazing performances from all the actors and actresses. You won't regret watching this movie and will help you see all the happiness and beauty in the world. Recommended for ages 14up.Score: 5/5
Yet another 5 star review?I don't know if I'd call it deep, perhaps succinct, or poignant if you really like it. For 10 bucks you cant really go wrong. I certainly watched it more more repeatedly than normal.Score: 5/5
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