Wednesday, February 6, 2013

American Beauty (1999) review


I consider this to be one of the best movies I have ever seen. It entertains on both a comedic and dramatic level with flawless acting and execution.

PLOT:Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a depressed, old man. He has a negligent wife named Caroline (Annette Bening) and a teenage daughter named Jane (Thora Birch) that pretty much hates him. Things are going horrible for Lester until he meets one of Jane's best friends, Angela (Mena Suvari), and immediately falls in love with her, sending him into a mid-life crisis in which he takes up several new hobbies and a new attitude on life. Meanwhile, Caroline is starting to have frequent lunches with her rival in the real estate business, Buddy Kane (Peter Gallagher) and Jane is developing a crush on the weird neighbor, Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley), who has an abusive veteran father (Chris Cooper). It's a very unqiue plot executed excellently.

ACTING:The acting in here was brilliant. Kevin Spacey performs brilliantly as the confused Lester Burnham, including his narration as well as his on-screen moments. Annette Bening also plays well off of Spacey as Caroline, the controlling wife. All performances were really good. The other shiners would be Thora Birch as Jane, Mena Suvari as Angela, Peter Gallagher as Buddy Kane, Wes Bentley as Ricky Fitts, and Chris Cooper as Colonel Fitts. The ones that stand out in this bunch would be Thora Birch, Mena Suvari, and Wes Bentley; Bentley plays a very memorable and rather likeable part.

SCORE:The score was pretty cool. It wasn't extremely unique or prominent like some film scores, but it was fitting and well done by Thomas Newman. Other than that, the soundtrack was made up of several classic rock songs (The Who, Annie Lennox, etc.) and showtune crooners.

OTHER CONTENT:This film was brilliant. Aside from the acting and execution, this film had a lot of deep meaning embedded within it on the hidden beauties of life you have to realize exist. This film opened my eyes the first time I saw it how beautiful and meaningful the world can be in the slightest things. This film is deep and dramatic, but also funny and comedic at some times. I don't believe it's an uneven mix, but that it all balances out in the end. For being his first film, I believe the director, Sam Mendes, has a lot of potential in him.

OVERALL,an epic film with an excellent plot, brilliant acting, cool soundtrack, lots of deep meaning, and a good balance of comedy and drama.

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