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It's an audacious start for a film that justifies that audacity. Weaving social satire, domestic tragedy, and whodunit into a single package, Alan Ball's first theatrical script dares to blur generic lines and keep us off balance, winking seamlessly from dark, scabrous comedy to deeply moving drama. The Burnham family joins the cinematic short list of great dysfunctional American families, as Lester is pitted against his manic, materialistic realtor wife, Carolyn (Annette Bening, making the most of a mostly unsympathetic role) and his sullen, contemptuous teenaged daughter, Jane (Thora Birch, utterly convincing in her edgy balance of self-absorption and wistful longing). Into their lives come two catalytic outsiders. A young cheerleader (Mena Suvari) jolts Lester into a sexual epiphany that blooms into a second adolescence. And an eerily calm young neighbor (Wes Bentley) transforms both Lester and Jane with his canny influence.
Credit another big-screen newcomer, English theatrical director Sam Mendes, with expertly juggling these potentially disjunctive elements into a superb ensemble piece that achieves a stylized pace without lapsing into transparent self-indulgence. Mendes has shrewdly insured his success with a solid crew of stage veterans, yet he's also made an inspired discovery in Bentley, whose Ricky Fitts becomes a fulcrum for both plot and theme. Cinematographer Conrad Hall's sumptuous visual design further elevates the film, infusing the beige interiors of the Burnhams' lives with vivid bursts of deep crimson, the color of roses--and of blood. --Sam Sutherland
This listing states it that the dvd is NEW and it is not!!! There is a tear in the front cover and the safety seal is broken off! I paid for a new one. I want a refund.Published 1 day ago by Megan
This-is-one-amazing-film!!!! Witness how a marriage can bleed to death. I've seen it a dozen times and I always pull more meaning from it. Highly recommended.
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This movie is totally a must see! Really I have never seen anything like it. I saw this movie in my film class and I was blown away by it and just had to own it myself. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Maria
i got this movie to watch with my 17 year old granddaughter, having forgotten all the details from having seen it in the theater many years ago. Yipes! Embarrassing! Read morePublished 24 days ago by Libbymae