Family Film Reviews American Beauty

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American Beauty Movie Review

American Beauty – 5 Oscars and the Inimitable Kevin Spacey


Some movies are impossible to forget: the scenes from these movies remain imprinted on your retina, and the dialogues that have sounded are scrolled repeatedly in your thoughts. At one time, this picture of Sam Mendes made a splash in Hollywood, bored, spoiled by loud action movies and stupid comedies. What could interest an ordinary life, an ordinary, unremarkable person, a loser and a simpleton? Midlife crisis in all its splendor, eternal monotony of existence, and eternal sleep with open eyes can interest.

The most topical topics and the most pressing questions rise to the surface. American Beauty is a very multi-layered film, very bright, and able to captivate the most fastidious and prejudiced audience.

Rainer Maria Rilke said, “For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror.” Meet American Beauty, ladies and gentlemen.

Some technical information

Year of release – 1999
Country: USA
Director – Sam Mendes
Genre – Drama
Age – 18+

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Mena Suvari, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Annette Bening.

My impressions

Lester Burnham is in his early forties and unhappy. A beautiful house seems like a cardboard box to him, a teenage daughter is a stranger, and the wife is cold and distant. All day long, like a computer character whose actions remain well known in advance, he creeps dejectedly between the office and nauseating home evenings.
Until one day, quite by accident, he meets HER. A beautiful, intoxicating, and sly rose of youth… A classmate of his graduate daughter, Angela… (At this point, some may yell, “It is pedophilia! We won’t be watching this.” And that’s your right.)

The problem is that Lester’s feeling is more than the lust of a balding man with a belly; it is like returning to his own seventeen, waking up after a long hibernation. This man is no longer the living dead.

The main protagonist tries to become worthy of a bright and exciting girl and to get closer to the Goddess. In this case, our main character decides to change, even if from the outside. However, some of his actions look like pure madness. What happened to Lester? How did his protest affect those around him? All this you can find out by watching this movie.

I should immediately warn you that my description of the plot sounds rather one-sided and boring compared to what is happening on the screen. I have deliberately left out many minor characters whose stories remain strongly connected to Lester himself. I don’t want to spoil your moments with the movie even slightly; it’s all you need to see with your own eyes without resorting to anyone else’s opinion.

This picture is an excellent example of fireworks. Sometimes, I didn’t even know whether to cry, laugh, condemn, or worry about the characters. At the highest, utterly authentic level, the acting game of all polls was superb. They managed to turn a simple, sometimes vulgar and typical life story into something brilliant. Kevin Spacey’s duet as Lester and Mena Suvari (dream girl incarnate) is mind-blowing. Their facial expressions, attitudes, and feelings are fantastic.

The camera work remains well thought out to the smallest detail, each shot remains filled with meaning, and the setting exemplifies the work of the highest cinematic art. Despite all its seriousness and heaviness, this film leaves a contradictory feeling of lightness and liberation. It is a must-see for those who have lost the meaning of existence. The cinematics remains entangled in the routine of days and is simply in a difficult situation.

The movie raises several serious and engaging topics seemingly fleetingly but succinctly and accurately. Such topics include drugs, marriage crises, parent-child relationships, forbidden love, and homosexuality. From this context, the movie offers an unbelievable mixture.

Now I want to add only one thing: appreciate every breath, every touch. There is so much beauty around, the beauty of life. Watch the trailer; you will want to turn on the movie right now!


I’m ready to erase my memory just to learn this gorgeous drama from scratch. Of course, I recommend it for viewing to everyone, regardless of gender or age.


American Beauty (1999) Film review; Dad’s dead, and he is still a funny guy. By Janet Maslin Published: September 15, 1999.

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