March 21, 2010

American Beauty - 1999

Director: Sam Mendes
Writer: Alan Ball
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari

"My name is Lester Burnham. This is my neighborhood; this is my street; this is my life. I am 42 years old; in less than a year I will be dead. Of course I don't know that yet, and in a way, I am dead already. Both my wife and daughter think I'm this gigantic loser and they're right, I have lost something. I'm not exactly sure what it is but I know I didn't always feel this... sedated. But you know what? It's never too late to get it back." The debut of both director Mendes and writer Ball, American Beauty follows the final year in the life of Lester Burnham (Spacey), who takes drastic action to suck the marrow out of life following a chance encounter with a friend (Suvari) of his daughter Jane (Birch).

There's no two ways about it: I loved this movie. Every performance is stellar, the dialogue is remarkable, it's technically skilled in terms of cinematography and editing, and makes some wonderful statements about the American middle class (and can be inspirational, if you think about it the right way). This film also has the best ending of any movie I've ever seen, but that's all I'll say for now. See it for yourself as soon as possible.

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