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American Beauty
Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening,
Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari.

Genre: Dark Comedy
Rating: R - Some nudity.
Highly recommended! 5 Beans Out of 5!

An extraordinarily profound film, this movie is a universal journey of self
Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnam experiences an epiphany caused by an instant infatuation he experiences with his daughter's sultry cheerleader friend. Also prompted by a new friendship with his new next door neighbour, Ricky Fitts, his daughter's pot-dealing admirer, then her boyfriend, Lester finds the strength to dramatically alter his life. He decides that he will no longer walk through his life a spectator with his life revolving around possessions and status, and embraces all the things that he feels make him feel alive.

What follows is a human spirit bursting through, an independent thinker making himself known, and the rotten core of the family is exposed.
Lester Burnham: "I feel like I've been in a coma for the past twenty years. And I'm just now waking up."

Ricky Fitts the new next door neighbour (wonderfully acted by Wes Bentley) shows Lester that anything is possible, if he takes the responsibility to simply do what he truly wants to do. He films objects in everyday life, speaking about his perspective of the world
to his new friend Jane Burnam. "Sometimes, there is so much beauty that I don't think I can take it." In this sentence, the theme of the movie is revealed. There is beauty in everything.

This movie asks questions about the legitimacy of many of our social obligations, the dangers of paranoia and close-mindedness, the worth of self-happiness, and the value of appreciating all that is beautiful in a life often all too short.

Beautifully acted and filmed, American Beauty is a superbly thoughtful, powerful, relevant, as well as entertaining movie. I give it my highest recommendation.

Reviewed by D.Davavich

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