American Beauty Reviews
Firstly, let me tackle the cinematography, as it's not enormously spectacular - although far above-average, if you ask me. Mendes & Hall did a great job at making nearly every shot one worth admiring (or, at least, appreciating): in light of this, one of the characters, namely one of Lester's neighbours, uses a consumer-grade 90s digital camera to film the activity around the protagonist's house in a fairly amateurish though certainly voyeuristic way, providing a unique point of view.
This furthermore describes the rest of the scenes and accompanying sound design: unique. Especially as Lester fantasises about one of his daughter's friends Angela, the scenes have a concise aesthetic vibe to them, albeit oftentimes coated in the film's eerie, dramatic self-awareness. The repeating of some compositions throughout the film to clarify the changes the characters have undergone, is a very nice touch to all of this, as well as the ending sequence making heavy use of gratuitous Hollywood-rainfall.
Moving on to the story, I think it's clear by now that the movie gets the majority of its credit for exactly that. What comes to mind when trying to best describe the plot, are "intricate", "existential" and "intriguingly thought-out", all three with good reason: the Lolita-esque and thereby sexually open narrative paves the way for incredibly fine character construction, with Kevin Spacey once again performing like none other.
That is: Lester starts off as being a boring office worker, tired with life, far from daring to speak up for himself. Then, as he is both fired from his job and introduced to high schooler Angela, his character snaps in an almost tangible way, kicking off him cutting away all toxic aspects in his life whilst also working towards his ideal self, as to please an evenly idealised girl. Ironically, this includes getting rid of the white picket fenced American Dream, but in the end, after some well-placed twists, he manages to find himself, and thus his peace.
I'm not going to lie: I didn't expect this movie to win me over at first, but I was happily surprised being proven wrong for two full - and I daresay exceptional - hours. Certainly, this film is a work of art possessing an intrinsic, intricate beauty - an American Beauty.
Esta es sin duda una obra de arte. Sam Mendes nos muestra la perspectiva de la psicología humana mediante unos personajes bien trabajados y una historia bien narrada.
A near perfect character study,very well written and funny and witty, the whole cast provide great performances
American Beauty offers a strange yet smart and complex story, that holds affecting performances, great score and direction, and a plot that's funny and tragic.