American Beauty Movie Review 1999

Information and Film Reviews for American Beauty the Movie

Staff rating

Visitor rating
4.0 from 0 reviews

Lester Burnham (Spacey) is dead. This isn't any shock--Lester tells you this himself in his opening narration. It's the time leading up to his death Lester wants to remember. Lester is a middle-aged drone with a brittle, status-conscious wife, Carolyn (Bening), and a sullen teenaged daughter, Jane (Birch). Lester's world is rocked when he meets Jane's Lolita-like friend, Angela (Suvari), and his fantasies find him quitting his job, pumping iron, and smoking dope with Ricky (Bentley), the voyeuristic kid next door who has a thing for videotaping Jane. It's a suburban nightmare writ large with an excellent cast and some unexpected twists.


DreamWorks SKG, 1000 Flower St., Glendale, CA 91201, Phone: (818)695-5000, Fax: (818)695-7775, URL:

Available on VHS, DVD
Running time 118 minutes.

Cast and Crew

Repressed Men, Marriage, Flashback, Gays, Sex & Sexuality, Teen Angst, Bad Dads, Strained Suburbia, Midlife Crisis, Family Drama, Cheerleaders
Alan Ball
Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Mena Suvari, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Peter Gallagher, Chris Cooper, Allison Janney, Scott Bakula, Sam Robards
Conrad L. Hall
Sam Mendes
Thomas Newman
Bruce Cohen, Dreamworks Pictures


Oscars 1999: Actor (Spacey), Cinematog., Director (Mendes), Film, Orig. Screenplay; British Acad. 1999: Actor (Spacey), Actress (Bening), Cinematog., Film, Film Editing, Score; Directors Guild 1999: Director (Mendes); Golden Globes 2000: Director (Mendes), Film--Drama, Screenplay; L.A. Film Critics 1999: Director (Mendes); Natl. Bd. of Review 1999: Film; Screen Actors Guild 1999: Actor (Spacey), Actress (Bening), Cast; Writers Guild 1999: Orig. Screenplay; Broadcast Film Critics 1999: Director (Mendes), Film, Orig. Screenplay.

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