Kevin Spacey follows up his amazing performances in The Usual Suspects and L.A. Confidential with his Academy Award for Best Actor in this film. Some of the funniest scenes in American Beauty involve the depressed Lester Burnham and his mid-life crisis meltdown. The way in which Spacey walks out of his job is utterly hilarious, and his weed-smoking, weight-lifting regimen in an effort to get pumped up and impress his daughter’s friend is classic. But Spacey’s performance is not alone. His brilliant role is complimented by Annette Bening’s Oscar-caliber transformation into Lester’s bitchy, cut-throat real-estate broker wife, Carolyn Burnham. Together, the two can stage an onscreen fight like no other fake married couple in cinema history, and it’s a true pleasure to watch.
American Beauty is further strengthened by Chris Cooper’s role as the Burnham’s homophobic neighbor (October Sky, The Patriot, Seabiscuit) and Mena Suvari’s role as the big-talking school girl Angela Hayes, object of Lester’s desires (Kiss The Girls, American Pie). American
Beauty is a film bursting with stage talent, one that benefits from solid direction, a well-designed screenplay, and superb dialogue. Odds are, you’ll either love it or hate it. But irrespective of your final take, American Beauty will invoke passion one way or the other. That’s why this film ranks as a definite must-see…
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