Saturday, February 26, 2011

American Beauty

Sam Mendes, 1999 (8.2*)
Best Picture (AA)

For an Oscar®-winning best picture, this is a strange story indeed. First of all, best actor winner, Kevin Spacey, who is bored with real-estate selling wife Annette Bening (who may be having an affair), has a secret crush on his daughter's best friend, a knockout cheerleader played by Mena Suvari [see photo below]

At the same time, he strikes up a friendship with the next door neighbor's teenaged son, which eats at that kid's right wing, homophobic dad, excellently played by Chris Cooper (who would later win his own Oscar® for supporting actor.) This whole story is slightly unsettling, and pretty much R-rated, hence the Oscar® win is a bit surprising; not since Midnight Cowboy has the academy opted for a story of this much squalor and mis-channeled lust. Still, if the story doesn't turn you off, a well filmed cult classic.

Winner of 88 awards overall (one of the highest totals ever), including five Oscars® for picture, director, screenplay, actor, and cinematography. Ranked #39 on the IMDB top 250


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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