American Beauty

Directed by Sam Mendes
Starring Annette Bening, Kevin Spacey, Thora Birch

DreamWorks Home Video | August 24, 2004 | DVD

4.2 out of 5 rating. 5 Reviews
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Powerful and insightful, but at the same time superbly entertaining, American Beauty is a soberingly hopeful look at the pitfalls of modern life. Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is currently struggling through a mid-life crisis, a general malaise for which both his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) and his daughter Jane (Thora Birch) resent him. Things begin to change when he meets Jane's beautiful friend Angela (Mena Suvari), who awakens his long dormant libido and fills him with invigorating purpose. Meanwhile, Jane is slowly falling in love with the drug-dealing boy next door (Wes Bentley) and Carolyn has jumped into an affair with a real-estate mogul (Peter Gallagher). As their carefully constructed facades slowly start to crumble, the characters find the kind of charm and grace that's been missing from their lives. Director Sam Mendes offers us a truly magnificent film with this debut effort, combining astounding performances and superb dark comedy to paint a profound emotional landscape.

Video Release: August 24, 2004

Theatrical Release: 1999

Runtime: 122

Rating: R (MPAA)

Studio: DreamWorks Home Video

UPC: 667068538229

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– More About This Product –

American Beauty

Directed by Sam Mendes
Starring Annette Bening, Kevin Spacey, Thora Birch

Video Release: August 24, 2004

Theatrical Release: 1999

Runtime: 122

Rating: R (MPAA)

Studio: DreamWorks Home Video

UPC: 667068538229


Edition Description
  • Surround Sound, Digital Sound, Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, DTS Digital 5.1 Surround, Dolby Surround AC-3, Dolby SR, Dolby SR, Dolby
  • Collectors Edition, Closed Captioned
  • Colour, Color
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • NTSC (Canada and USA)
  • Wide Screen
  • Originally in English
  • Released in English

Synopsis

The tale of Lester Burnham (Spacey), a suburban father who snaps when he becomes disgusted with his stale, repetitive existence. Burnham lets us know in voice-over from the film's opening that this is the day he dies (using the SUNSET BOULEVARD flashback approach), a technique that adds an inevitable tension to the proceedings, and keeps the story moving forward at all times. On a whim, Lester quits his job and begins a regression into young adulthood, lifting weights, smoking pot, doing nothing, and discovering the overflowing sexuality of his sixteen year old daughter's best friend, Angela (Suvari). His wife, Carolyn (Bening), has her own mid-life crisis of sorts. A real estate agent, she experiences a youthful awakening when super-agent Buddy Kane (Gallagher) seduces her repeatedly. Meanwhile, Jane (Birch), their daughter, is pursued by Ricky (Bentley), the mysterious boy next door who carries around a video camera like it's a prosthetic hand. When Ricky's militaristic father, Colonel Fitts (Cooper), discovers something potentially horrifying on one of his tapes, and when Carolyn's rage for Lester's actions boils over, the time bomb finally explodes.

Description

The tale of Lester Burnham (Spacey), a suburban father who snaps when he becomes disgusted with his stale, repetitive existence. Burnham lets us know in voice-over from the film's opening that this is the day he dies (using the SUNSET BOULEVARD flashback approach), a technique that adds an inevitable tension to the proceedings, and keeps the story moving forward at all times. On a whim, Lester quits his job and begins a regression into young adulthood, lifting weights, smoking pot, doing nothing, and discovering the overflowing sexuality of his sixteen year old daughter's best friend, Angela (Suvari). His wife, Carolyn (Bening), has her own mid-life crisis of sorts. A real estate agent, she experiences a youthful awakening when super-agent Buddy Kane (Gallagher) seduces her repeatedly. Meanwhile, Jane (Birch), their daughter, is pursued by Ricky (Bentley), the mysterious boy next door who carries around a video camera like it's a prosthetic hand. When Ricky's militaristic father, Colonel Fitts (Cooper), discovers something potentially horrifying on one of his tapes, and when Carolyn's rage for Lester's actions boils over, the time bomb finally explodes.

Notes

DVD Features: Region 1 Keep Case Anamorphic Widescreen - 2.35 Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 - English DTS Surround 5.1 - English Additional Release Material: Featurette Audio Commentary - 1. Sam Mendes - Director, Alan Ball - Writer 2. Sam Mendes - Director, Conrad L. Hall - Cinematographer Trailers Text/Photo Galleries: Production Notes Storyboards Biographies - 1. Cast & Crew DVD-ROM Features:
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