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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. 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 was also the screen debut for screenwriter Alan Ball.
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I really like this movie. I've watched it about three times over the last few years, and every time I see the ending in a new way. My only problem... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Tudorlady22
Riveting psychosocial look at Amercian values in juxtaposition . Beautifully portrayed by the cast of Kevin Spacey,
Annette Benning, Alysson Janey , and others.....
Can watch this movie again and again! Nostalgic, funny, insightful, Sad! Loved ALL the characters! Kevin Spacey working at the Fast Food Restaurant has me laughing the entire time!Published 12 days ago by Gary Neiman
Absolutely brilliant. My highest recommendation. My favorite movie of all time.Published 23 days ago by JLH
This is one of those iconic movies that I can watch time and time again. Lester Burnham is a genuine tragic hero, and his midlife crisis is portrayed without apology by Kevin... Read morePublished 28 days ago by paige daniels