American Beauty captures the aridity of the American Dream at century’s end with rapier wit and an arresting visual style. The dark satire swept the Academy Awards in 2000, winning five — Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Screenplay and Cinematography — and marked auspicious debuts for director Sam Mendes and writer Alan Ball. Annette Bening’s unhinged real estate agent, Carolyn Burnham, is a suburban American classic — a Martha Stewart gone mad. She dances the tango of a dying marriage with Kevin Spacey’s Lester, surrounded by a brilliant ensemble cast including Chris Cooper, Peter Gallagher and Mena Suvari, the nymph who awakens Lester from his midlife coma. –AFI
Samuel Alexander “Sam” Mendes, CBE (born 1 August 1965) is an English stage and film director. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning work on his debut film American Beauty (1999) and his dark re-inventions of the stage musicals Cabaret (1994), Oliver! (1994), Company (1996) and Gypsy (2003). He is currently working on Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film. He has a child with his former wife Kate Winslet.
Mendes was born in Reading, Berkshire, the only child of Valerie Helene (née Barnett), an author of children’s books, and Jameson Peter Mendes, a university professor. His father is from Trinidad of ethnic Portuguese descent, and his mother an English Jew. His grandfather is the Trinidadian writer Alfred Mendes.
Mendes’ parents divorced when he was a child. He grew up in Oxfordshire and attended Magdalen College School and Peterhouse, Cambridge where he graduated with a first in English. While at Cambridge, he was a member of the Marlowe Society… read more
American Beauty is a seminal male alienation movie typical of the late 90s. It came, of course, in the last year of the decade, a year that would change the way movies were made with its a thrilling… read review
I just watched American Beauty for the first time in many years and the main impression I got was that I must have been brainwashed or just swept up in the acclaim that the film received back in 1999… read review
The first film that I can actually say (when I watched it quite some years ago, and than the theory just confirmed itself over the years) that changed my perspective on whole film absorption that I… read review