Thursday, 31 January 2013

American Beauty

UK Release: 18th November 1999
Watched on DVD: Tuesday 4th December 2012
Rating: 18
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 2hrs 2mins
IMDb Plot Synopsis: Lester and Carolyn Burnham are on the outside, a perfect husband and wife, in a perfect house, in a perfect neighborhood. But inside, Lester is slipping deeper and deeper into a hopeless depression. He finally snaps when he becomes infatuated with one of his daughter's friends. Meanwhile, his daughter Jane is developing a happy friendship with a shy boy-next-door named Ricky, who lives with a homophobic father.

My Review: I didn’t quite know what to expect of American Beauty. I’d obviously heard a lot about it as it’s highly acclaimed but I went into it not knowing anything plot wise which I think really helped. Right from the beginning the character’s grab you - particularly Annette Benning as estate agent Carolyn and Kevin Spacey who played Lester, her husband. The two of them are incredibly well performed and defined so as things spiral you empathise completely. I also really liked the relationship between Ricky (Wes Bentley) and Jane (Thora Birch), their daughter.
It’s such a gripping film, not necessarily due to the story itself - although climax is brilliant - but the pacing and atmosphere cast is incredible. The cinematography and the philosophy of film is beautiful and captivated me throughout. 
And by the end of it I was blown away! I don’t know if I can put my finger on why it’s such a fantastic film. I think it’s in part a combination of meticulously excellent acting, writing and directing. But there’s also something special that it invokes in people. Something which rarely comes along in films these days. And it’s something fascinatingly magical.

Score: 9.5/10

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