Monday, September 1, 2014
American Beauty by Sam Mendes, 1999 (R)
While struggling to endure his tightly wound wife, an unfulfilling job and a sullen teenage daughter, suburbanite Lester Burnham falls deep into a midlife crisis and becomes infatuated with one of his daughter's friends.
I remember the discomfort of having to watch people whose ordinary lives were so filled with darkness and identity issues. Overall, the movie is so cynical there is little to laugh from, and at the same time, so much to reflect on, in the way the American society can be dysfunctional. Oh, and the movie doesn't even talk about racial issues, which I think would be too much to handle, I guess. So focusing on the WASP of suburban America, we get to reflect on the 90's problems, which have now become different and all more of the same, the internet having made its entrance in our lives since then. The movie has aged but not enough to disconnect us from major insecurity issues and role models that have nothing real about them.
with Kevin Spacey (Superman Returns, House of Cards - season 1), Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right, Ruby Sparks), Thora Birch, Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games), Mena Suvari, Chris Cooper (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Company You Keep, The Company Men, The Horse Whisperer, August: Osage County), Peter Gallagher, Allison Janney (Juno, Masters of Sex, The Help, The Hours, Margaret, Liberal Arts), Scott Bakula (Behind the Candelabra, The Informant!), Sam Robards, Ara Celi, John Cho (Total Recall, Star Trek Into Darkness), Sue Casey, Amber Smith, Matthew Kimbrough
From the director of Skyfall