Jason Morales 4 March Warning: Spoilers Sam Mendes' big screen directorial debut will one day be mentioned along with classic greats like Psycho, Vertigo, and Sunset Blvd. That way, I won't ruin it, if like me, you stayed away from all reviews and talk about American Beauty until you actually saw the movie. To my surprise, I somewhat succeeded.
Courtesy of DreamWorks With: Multilayered, bracingly resourceful and tweaked to push its many brash ideas to the edge and beyond, this independent-minded feature represents a stunning card of introduction for two cinematic freshmen, screenwriter Alan Ball and director Sam Mendes.
But breaking through to the mainstream public will prove a formidable, and likely hopelessly uphill, task indeed. Fortunately, this view is intended not as a revelation but as a given, a starting point for a subtle and acutely judged tale in which nearly every important character metamorphoses in an utterly unpredictable way.
Related Oscar Best Picture Winners: Lester is a self-described loser, having lost interest in his job at an advertising magazine as well as in any meaningful relationship with his beautiful, high-strung, real estate agent wife, Carolyn Annette Beningand sullen high school-age A review of the film american beauty, Jane Thora Birch.
Family life is a sham for all of them, and they deal with it in different ways: Lester admits it, Carolyn refuses to face it, and Jane is just waiting it out until she can fly the coop. Exhilarated by the ludicrous prospect of seducing her, Lester begins obsessively pumping iron and fuels his youthful state of mind by smoking dope with a strange young man, Ricky Fitts Wes Bentleywho has just moved into the house next door with his father Chris Coopera recently retired Marine Corps colonel, and shut-down mother Allison Janney.
Ricky frequently takes surreptitious video footage of Jane, and when she calls him on it, an unlikely but oddly convincing romantic friendship begins blossoming that finally gives Jane a release for her emotional frustration.
Consistently provocative and devilishly amusing through the first hour, pic clicks into high gear midway when Lester and Carolyn finally have it out. Blackmailing his boss for a big severance package, he hilariously takes a gig at the job at which he was always happiest, flipping burgers at a fast-food restaurant, buys his dream car and openly smokes weed whenever he wants.
His new freewheeling approach to life makes him giddy, so much so that he believes he and his wife can revive their long-buried sexual relationship. But Carolyn and Jane are appalled at his breezy, tell-it-like-it-is attitude, fomenting a mood of anxious melodrama leading to the event promised by the opening narration.
Beyond that, the dialogue is tart and the characters are well and deeply drawn, endowed with an inner life that allows the viewer to understand their often rash and unpredictable behavior. Hall, who is unsurpassed in his ability to augment the meaning of the material he films by finding its perfect visual correlative.
The ensemble of actors here could not be better. Uncharacteristically frumpy in the opening reels, Spacey hums along with droll line readings before jumpstarting to antic but hardly overdone life upon receiving his wake-up call. Bening, perfectly cast as the perfect wife, goes well beyond the expected in such a role and is almost scary at times in the way she defends herself.
As a closed-up girl, Birch gradually blossoms in ways that are impressive but not always pretty, Suvari socks over her role as a frank-talking nymphet, while Bentley is sensational as the creepy kid living a complex life.
Cooper is chillingly convincing as the tyrannical father, Janney stands out as his ghostly wife, and Gallagher cuts the right figure as a smooth-talking cock of the walk. Produced by Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks.
Co-producers, Stan Wlodkowski, Alan Ball.
Directed by Sam Mendes. Lazan; set decorator, Jan K. Reviewed at the Century Plaza Theater, L.Jan 01, · Read the Empire review of American Beauty. Find out everything you need to know about the film from the world's biggest movie destination.5/5. Sep 15, · American Beauty is my favourite film of all time, followed by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Mulhholand Drive.
It is a near perfect movie%(33). Music, Film, TV and Political News Coverage. Peter Travers declares 'American Beauty' is a "triumph.". The Korean Film Page is designed to give the reader an overview of the films, issues, people, and events that shape the film community in Korea. Updated frequently.
Critics Consensus: Flawlessly cast and brimming with dark, acid wit, American Beauty is a smart, provocative high point of late '90s mainstream Hollywood film%. The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers.