It's just a gorgeous film in every sense of the word...beautifully scripted, acted and scored.
The paper bag scene is almost like a mise en abyme.
Haunting is a much overused word, but is the only suitable adjective here.
Evidence that movie makers do not have to kowtow to Tinseltown's money men.Bruce (10 out of 10 )
I laugh, I cry. One of the most touching movies ever! PERFECT in every way. For once I totally agreed with the Academy!carly (10 out of 10 )
Doal (10 out of 10 )
What a film!Robert (9 out of 10 )
A well made film, Kevin Spacey does a great job as Lester. The acting is pretty much flawless. A little on the strange side, artsy fartsy mostly. Yet a moving film about beauty, love and life.ry (10 out of 10 )
One of the best films I have never seen. The fact that I can praise a film so highly based only on its script says a lot about the writer Alan Ball, especially considering it was his debut screenplay. I intend to buy the actual film now, I only hope the actors do not spoil it for me.gerhard (10 out of 10 )
Perfect!Tshego-vee (10 out of 10 )
I would really like to thank the actors for doing such a great JOB! And thanks to the crew who relly put a lot of effort and time .
AWESOME MOVIE!Emz (10 out of 10 )
I agree with most of these comments! This is my favorite film ever! Simply flawless! They could not have picked finer actors and actresses to play the parts! Kevin Spacy. INSPIRATIONAL!yogi99 (10 out of 10 )
Wow! I can't think of a single bad thing about this movie or this script. This is the kind of movie that will change your life. Nothing but praise for everyone involved with this masterpiece.Marty Morgan (10 out of 10 )
The greatest film ever!Nicole (10 out of 10 )
Beautiful and perfect don't even begin to describe this film and all its wonder. Kevin Spacey is wonderful and Annette Benning is great. Wes Bently also does a grand job of forcing me to "look closer". If you haven't seen this movie yet- do yourself a favor and see it. You will look at life differently and see beauty in everything. As Kevin Spacey's character Lester Burnham said "... And I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life..." After this you will know what he meant, and you'll feel the same way.Samuel; (10 out of 10 )
I totally agreed with the academy EXCEPT that Newman's original, trailblazing and brilliant score lost to the polished, pretty, and completely 'safe' score for 'Cider House Rules'. Almost threw a brick@ my TV.chris (10 out of 10 )
Perfection in it's perfect form. For any of you out there who are struggling screenwriters like myself, reading this script will help you out immensely. The action lines are flawlessly visual and perfect, you can see everything Alan Ball is trying to show you with the utmost clarity. All the right things happen in all the right places, there's zero exposition, perfect dialog, this is without a doubt one of the single greatest scripts ever written in the entire history of film.Max Manfre (10 out of 10 )
I love American Beauty. You'll laugh and cry at the same time. There's not too many directors who can make a film like this. Kevin Spacey toltally changed his whole image and rebelled. The moral to the story is "Life is too short, so enjoy it while you can." Alina (10 out of 10 )
Can a well-paid job and a big house in the suburbs bring happiness? How many of us, after reaching a critical age, start questioning life and examining whether we are happy or not?
How can we define happiness?
There are a lot of things I am not certain of, but one thing I know for sure is that this movie is as real as life itself. Kind of frightening once you start thinking about it.
Joseph (10 out of 10 )
A film that deals with the problems of society, with humour and sadness. A truly illuminating and beautiful picture with one of the best scripts ever written. Every shot has a purpose, the music adds to the complex ideas operating in the picture, and the cast is seperb. This is an american classic.Clare (10 out of 10 )
Only Alan Ball. This truly is a life changing film. I have seen this film on countless occasions and could still not begin to describe the degree of comfort and grattitude it gives to me. American Beauty is a film so layered, so personal, so relevant and so familier to its audience, that I have noticed different viewers focus on various different aspects of the narritive or of the character observations. It is almost impossible to overstate the attention to detail, thus, making it almost impossible to do it justice in a single review. I will sing the praise of American Beauty and say with assurance; it is the best film I have ever seen. Everybody involved should be thoroughly proud. The acting is flawless. Kevin Spacey. What to say? Kevin Spacey is phoenomenal (for want of a better word- he is the best. Annette Benning is spectacular, and the younger perfomers are absolutely astonishing- the plastic bag overwhelms and moves me to tears with every viewing. Sam Mendes did an incredible job of effectuating such a poignant masterpiece. The concept "look closer" is one of uncompromising importance. American Beauty taught me to open my eyes and see the beauty that exists everywhere.emma (2 out of 10 )
I am totally intrigued by all these comments. This film is anything but beautiful. The two families shown are so depressing and sad, with all their hidden secrets. I don't live in a suburb but I cannot believe that people who in theory live in paradise are so miserable and harsh. What's to like? Good acting and directing cannot rescue a view of humanity which is so cynical and nasty. Horrible film, nearly left the cinema before the end.luke (10 out of 10 )
Emma, that's exactly the point- Look Closer. A family that seen from outside looks like a perfect family, but it's only inside that family that you can discover that looks can be deceiving.habtom kid (10 out of 10 )
ALAN BALL'S American beauty is really one of the most well-written movies which I am able to see while I am living in Asmera. The scenarios are very moving and the put me to some places which I never imagined before. How ever I have I doubt to mr Alan ball why he choose to name it American beauty. Of course I never been to that country but as I am a citizen of this world I hear a lot about America and I do not expect it to be just like that.Bernie (1 out of 10 )
I agree with Emma. I hated this movie the first time I watched it. Heck, the only time I watched it. I admit that it does a great job at characterization and the characters have stayed with me, but on the whole I didn't like it and would never watch it again.Spudeh (9 out of 10 )
Rather than review the film like evryone else, I'm going to say that the screenplay (which one an Oscar) was very helpful for tips and a handy template for my own work. Although some technique uses would have been helpful, it is a script and is added afterwards, so I guess that would have been ambitious to expect. Otherwise, a great screenplay.Debopratim (9 out of 10 )
This movie doesn't need an outdoor location, vivid emotional discourse, suspense, thrills or any display of bravado at any point of time. The picture seems to be dark, every character depressed and all ways to truthful redemption are denied. But that is what it is. I didnt get it all the first time like many others, but only spacey's work took us thrice, not considering the other characters and the subject matter in question. Everyone who was born and is living in a progressive society, a civilized metroplis will find something or other in common with the storyline or the characters involved. I do. And we were never supposed to talk about it, but then you know how that is. So here's the truth for a change and the tables are turned now,. It can be harsh, as there are ideas which are beyond our level of sophisticated assimilation. Hate or love, you must have an opinion about it. This is the only movie maybe, where people wouldnt have liked to see what was to transpire in between Spacey and Suvari! Its movies like these that keeps your faith in Hollywood and its creative processes,.TheFALZ (10 out of 10 )
"I'm totally intrigued by eveyone's comments." I'm not. What is so intriguing Emma? Don't you see? What you've said is in part correct. The movie is thoroughy depressing. But such a perspective on contemporary life is anything but cynical: it is truthful. This is why it is so beautiful. Your initial response sums up the essence of exactly the kind of audience reaction that the film intends to achieve. But don't go on complaining about the movie and saying that's why you left it early because in this case you've coompletely missed the point of the film. DERR, you're not supposed to feel all nice and overjoyed that your money's worth has contributed to giving you a good old dose of false security with fake characters all singing kum-ba-ya and holding hands to a happily-ever-after ending. This masterpiece, like all good films, is contributing to the state of global society in its quest to eliminate flaws in the human condition. Just so you know, good acting and directing ISN'T supposed to rescue anything with pretenses. ART IS NOT AN ILLUSION, RATHER IT TRIES TO EXPOSE THE SUBTLTIES OF REALITY IGNORED BY THE MASSES: "LOOK CLOSER", MY DEAR. It may be "hard to believe", but PEOPLE WHO "IN THEORY LIVE IN PARADISE" ARE MISERABLE IN MANY WAYS. Of course, as with all artistic license, don't go overboard as an audience member and interpret its messages to the extreme. Just use your intuition. By the way, without sounding rude, I don't know what planet you're living on but PEOPLE DO LIVE WITH MANY BURIED SECRETS. I don't mean to sound negative either, because I'm a ridiculous optimist. Just so you know, I'm only pointing out objective reality. Subjectivity is all up to you from here on. In my opinion, it's a great film, with VERY relevant messages, but that does not mean that the obstacles to improving humanity explored in the film cannot be overcome. With insight and hard work, we all can improve it. But only if we first understand objective reality, which I, Emma, have kindly illuminated you with.darkvader (9 out of 10 )
Emma, Bernie: you oughta have some standard in films. Cause if you didn't like American Beauty, then you don't know the first thing about films. There's a whole life in the outside world that you, me or most of us haven't seen, so it's not right for you to say that people are harsh or people are very polite in the suburbs or elsewhere. People are people. Just like you and me. This is fiction, this is not a documentary. It's not necessary for any of us to think that any of this is/could be real. The story is to be respected for what it makes the viewers feel. Let me tell you something, after you watch a movie, just think about it for a while and then ask yourself 'WHAT IF?'.williwonka (10 out of 10 )
I've lost count of how many times I have watched this film and I've never grown tired of it. As someone who has the attention span of a flea I find it almost impossible to sit and watch most films from start to finish but every now and then a film grabs my attention and holds me down in my seat up until the end. It's a stroke of genius the way that they put in what some would call a 'spoiler' at the beginning of the film yet far from spoiling it, it just made me want to sit and watch. I know not of any film that has managed to do that with such success. The cynical tone in which Kevin Spacey narrates the VO throughout the film is done to perfection.Zig (10 out of 10 )
Screw the film, I mean it's great but, best script I've ever read. I loved Lester's character. Must read.Lee Eide (10 out of 10 )
This movie is, along with "The Big Lebowski", tied for all-time favorite movie.
The theme, characters, dialogue and mixture of humor and sadness make this a complete joy to watch. I am a, as of this moment, an unsuccessful screenwriter. I have written numerous scripts but none have come close to selling. So I told myself I'm going to to read "Save the Cat!", do all the exercises in the book, take really good notes and then return to my scripts with a fresh, more educated perspective and try to get them ready for the marketplace. This site is a great resource for learning how to write topnotch scripts.