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American Beauty [Blu-ray] (2013)

Annette Bening , Thora Birch , Sam Mendes  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,308 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Kevin Spacey, Wes Bentley, Chris Cooper
  • Directors: Sam Mendes
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,308 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AEFXEN6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,691 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Noted theater director Sam Mendes who was responsible for the acclaimed 1998 revival of Cabaret and Nicole Kidman's turn in The Blue Room made his motion picture debut with this film about the dark side of an American family and about the nature and price of beauty in a culture obsessed with outward appearances. 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. Jan

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
289 of 337 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLOOD AND ROSES April 22, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I read somewhere that the overwelmingly red look of American Beauty is a symbol for blood and roses. Represented in the film by the flower petals in Lester Burnham's fantasies, and the blood spilt when the sadness that hovers beneath bears its face. The title of American Beauty does not refer to the pretty surfaces that hide the anguish of these people, but the beauty of their souls when dealing with that anguish. Many reviewers have considered the title to be ironic, it isn't. I've heard Kevin Spacey say that this film is about context, because taken out of context the behaviour of these characters seem bizzare and even phsycotic, but out with in the context of their messy lives or indeed anybody's life, it seems natural. If I tell you that Kevin Spacey plays a character who is obsessed with the idea of sleeping with his daughter's best friend, a daughter who constantly anounces her hatred of her parents, a woman so obsessed with appearances that happiness is but a memory to her, a loner who makes his living as a drug dealer with a firm rigid father living in denial about his son and himself, you would guess that there would be no one to like in this film. You would be wrong. This film is magical in the way it lets identify with these characters, care for them and worry about their outcome. Infact the ideas of American Beauty are nothing new. The persuit of happiness through the abanodoning of materialistic possesions and the satisfaction of primal, animal and natural desires was the exact same premise for Fight Club. This could be a middle aged version of that film. The family turmoil closely resembles Ang Lee's The Ice Storm 1998, and like that film, American Beauty ends in tragedy. Read more ›
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking March 21, 2000
By Lisa C
My initial reaction, "That was weird," has changed to "How thought-provoking." What happens when characters who struggle to live authentically cross paths with those who struggle to do anything but?
Lester Burnham and the oddly compelling boy next door both discover the ability to see the true beauty in life, even in the most unlikely or mundane circumstances. Who is to be pitied more: Lester, whose life is snuffed out at the moment of pure joy and contentment, or his wife, who buys into the mantra that one must first attain the appearance of success in order to BE successful? She fiercely shuts down any intense emotion lest she be overwhelmed, and even her sexual encounters are comically farcical. "When did you become so joyless?" the soul-searching Lester asks his wife in a touching moment.
Ricky's character as the boy next door is haunting. He sees life as an artist and a poet; his serenity contrasts with the stark repression of his military father and soulless mother, and intrigues Lester's daughter Jane, who possesses Wednesday Addams' moon face and dour disposition. Her struggle of self-discovery contrasts with that of her best friend, the beautiful and perfect cheerleader Angela, whose insecurities are masked by sexual bravado.
This is a movie worth seeing . . . worth thinking about long after it's over . . . and a gentle reminder to live life authentically.
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98 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...And in a way, I am dead already." February 4, 2004
Format:DVD
"American Beauty" is a pure cinematic triumph that is both funny and sad. It's disturbing... and yet, it's extremely provocative and deep. The film is an extraordinary achievement that reveals a tragic and realistic story about a family that is anything but ordinary. It's a film with so many layers that it is almost impossible to dissect them all in one single thought.
Meet Lester Burnham; a man who feels like he's completely dead inside. His wife and daughter despise him and do not show him any signs of respect. On the surface, the family seems like a picture-perfect family that everybody dreams about--but inside is a completely different matter. His wife is obsessed with material possessions and doesn't care for "petty" things like love or life, while his daughter resents herself because she isn't "perfect." Lester's mental coma is rudely interrupted when he meets his daughter's friend and starts fantasizing about her. The awakening might be due to a disturbing thought or feeling, but the wake-up call changes Lester and allows him to realize that there's always time to erase his "forced-image" and be the person he really is. This is all a set-up for a funny, disturbing and tragic movie.
I don't know about everybody else, but my mind was literally racing around when this movie was playing before my eyes. It's one of those films that allows you to pick up on something different upon each viewing. As I said in the beginning of the review, this film has a number of layers to it. There's so many different meanings and points to the film that it is nearly impossible to describe them all in one little review. Besides, the fun part of the movie is discovering these meanings and points for yourself.
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74 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oscar finally gets it right... April 4, 2000
Format:DVD
There's something special about "American Beauty" that's hard to pinpoint. I don't think I've ever seen a film with such a great ensemble of actors - everyone is perfectly cast, from Kevin Spacey's eerily lovable Lester, to Annette Bening's loopy real-estate broker Carolyn, to Thora Birch's hauntingly disenchanted Jane. And the Fitts family...whew. Don't even want to go there.
It's one of many films lately dealing with the disparity between appearances and their underlying realities. Lester's abrupt break with his superficial world is refreshing, and the chaotic circumstances that evolve from it are both provocative and entertaining. I think that, along with "Fight Club," "American Beauty" is the best of them all. The beautiful cinematography, outstanding percussion-centered score, precise and evocative *original* screenplay, and above all first-rate acting make this movie stand above all the others. Thinking about the fact that this is Sam Mendes' first film, and Alan Ball's first screenplay, gives me hope for the future of film in America. Not every movie has to leave you nauseous.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars American Beauty 2 tape
I like Kevin Spacey Annette Bening are in the movie together it was a good one for me and I love that
Published 3 days ago by gregory
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic film
Although this movie came out in 1999, you wouldn't know it. Okay maybe Kevin Spacey is looking pretty young, aside that it did not feel dated one bit. Read more
Published 3 days ago by siryarquest
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic movie
has this made it to cult status? I've watched it many times over and never tire of it. Kevin Spacey is amazing
Published 4 days ago by Todd
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
The Movie was great, with an awesome soundtrack... Kevin Spacey is absolutely incredible. Bought the movie and added it to my collection.
Published 13 days ago by F.C. Boone, NC.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I loved this it's one of the best it's funny and serious Kevin Spacey is so good I loved it
Published 14 days ago by sandy
2.0 out of 5 stars One long pot trip with some drama inserts
Characters personalities don't add up. The supposed 'psycho' son is all sensitive and sentimental, and his father shows genuine concern and care for him despite regularly beating... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Donald Duck
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I bought this because of the wonderful film it is and the blu-ray format which I love. If you have not watched this movie and consider yourself a movie buff you need to step your... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy and great suspense with a touch of humor..
Great plot and very original no other movie like it.Great choice of actresses and actors.Overall falls into my top 10 movies ever.
Published 22 days ago by jim blankenship
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
What can you say about a classic. Kevin Spacey is the man. This movie should be watched by everyone at least once.
Published 23 days ago by Andy Churchill
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE !!!
This is an awesome movie..........Annette Benning is great in this movie!! Strange things take place......it's so good!! GOTTA HAVE IT MOVIE!!!
Published 1 month ago by JOEY
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