Rent American Beauty (1999)

4.0 of 5 from 494 ratings
1h 57min
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  • Available formats
Synopsis:
Look closer at the most talked about film of the year. A funny, moving and shocking journey through life in suburban America. Look closer at fortysomething ad man Lester Burnham and his status-seeking wife, Carolyn, as their marriage and lives slowly unravel. Lester's wife hates him, his daughter Jane regards him with contempt, and his boss is positioning him for the axe. Look closer as Lester decides to make a few changes in his life; the freer he gets, the happier he gets. But Lester is about to learn that the ultimate freedom comes at the ultimate price. Look closer at an acclaimed cast led by the brilliant performances from Kevin Spacey as Lester and Annette Bening as Carolyn.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Krista Goodsitt
Directors:
Writers:
Alan Ball
Others:
Alan Ball, Conrad L. Hall, Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks, Scott Millan, Tariq Anwar, Richard Van Dyke, Bob Beemer, Tania McComas, Carol A O'Connell, Naomi Shohan, Scott Martin Gershin, Christopher Greenbury, Thomas Newman
Studio:
Dreamworks
Genres:
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Awards:

2000 BAFTA Best Film

2000 BAFTA Best Actor

2000 BAFTA Best Actress

2000 BAFTA Best Music

2000 BAFTA Best Cinematography

2000 BAFTA Best Editing

2000 Oscar Best Actor

2000 Oscar Best Picture

2000 Oscar Best Cinematography

2000 Oscar Best Director

2000 Oscar Best Original Screen Play

BBFC:
Release Date:
27/11/2000
Run Time:
117 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
Danish, Dutch, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Behind The Scenes Featurette
  • Audio Commentary with Director Sam Mendes and Screenwriter Alan Ball
  • Storyboard Presentation with Sam Mendes and Director of Photography Conrad L. Hall
  • 2 Theatrical Trailers
BBFC:
Release Date:
14/02/2011
Run Time:
121 minutes
Languages:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing, French, Portuguese, Spanish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Commentary by director Sam Mendes and screenwriter Alan Ball
  • American beauty: Look closer…
  • Storyboard presentation with Sam Mendes and director of photography Conrad L. Hall
  • 2 Theatrical trailers

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Reviews (2) of American Beauty

Disappointing. - American Beauty review by TH

Spoiler Alert
26/07/2018

Some clever twists, but too many of them are threadbare, and too many of them hackneyed; and overall the story is unsatisfying. It comes to an end without drawing the threads together and without giving any sense of completion. And it certainly is not a comedy as billed, only occasionally raising a wry smirk.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

A key 90s film - Still Fantastic - American Beauty review by GI

Spoiler Alert
16/06/2021

American Beauty is one of two great films that reveal the underbelly of American suburban life, whilst the other, Blue Velvet (1986), is a much darker film, this combines it's revelations of what is going on behind closed doors with a study of mid-life crisis. The film seemed very relevant when it was first released and garnered many accolades although viewed today some of its thematic depictions may seem somewhat out of date. Kevin Spacey plays Lester, a mid 40s man stuck in a loveless marriage to Carolyn (Annette Bening), a boring job and has lost the precious connection with his 17 year old daughter Jane (Thora Birch) who sees him as an embarrassment. Then one day Lester decides to change his life and removes all the social barriers that he sees restraining him from doing so. There's plenty of comedy here but it's wrapped up in some serious issues and some may seem a little clichéd today. However what's wonderful about this film is the interconnection with the coming-of-age of Jane as she breaks away from the social shackles that have made her parents so unhappy. The film covers issues such as sex and briefly explores same sex marriage, which at the time was a more contentious issue than perhaps it is today, and indeed latent homosexuality forms a key part of the narrative. Sex and desire are a key theme here as Lester fixates on Jane's best friend, Angela (Mean Suvari). There's also a look at drugs in suburban environments and materialism, a social and human problem that Lester deals with quite effectively. This is a really entertaining, funny and sad film with tremendous performances and it's worth a revisit and a must see if you've never seen it.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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