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American Beauty (1999)

 -  Drama  -  1 October 1999 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 694,717 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 2,684 user | 260 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

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Top 250 #61 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 109 wins & 81 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sale House Woman #1
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Sale House Man #1
Fort Atkinson ...
Sale House Man #2
Sue Casey ...
Sale House Woman #2
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Storyline

Lester and Carolyn Burnham are on the outside, a perfect husband and wife, in a perfect house, in a perfect neighborhood. But inside, Lester is slipping deeper and deeper into a hopeless depression. He finally snaps when he becomes infatuated with one of his daughter's friends. Meanwhile, his daughter Jane is developing a happy friendship with a shy boy-next-door named Ricky, who lives with an abusive father. Written by Jessie Skinner <eietherbinge@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, language, violence and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 October 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Belleza americana  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£425,558 (UK) (28 January 2000)

Gross:

AUD 11,029,726 (Australia) (15 December 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The shot where Annette Bening screams after her failure to sell the house was done in one take. See more »

Goofs

A buffet/sideboard on the wall behind Carolyn's chair in several wide shots of the Burnham's dining room (from foyer and stairs) never appears in Lester's POV shots from his end of the table looking directly at Carolyn who should be sitting in front of that large piece of furniture against the wall. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jane Burnham: I need a father who's a role model, not some horny geek-boy who's gonna spray his shorts whenever I bring a girlfriend home from school. What a lame-o. Someone really should just put him out of his misery.
Ricky Fitts: Want me to kill him for you?
Jane Burnham: Yeah. Would you?
See more »

Crazy Credits

thanks to all at the Donmar Warehouse in London and Dr. Bill and Alice See more »

Connections

Referenced in Donnie Darko (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Bali Ha'i
Written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers
Performed by Peggy Lee
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User Reviews

 
Close To Perfection
12 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The intention is so clear that everything else falls into place, perfectly. Kevin Spacey's suburban husband and father reminded me of his character in "The Ref" and that could only be a good thing. Annette Bening and her giggle works wonders here. Their marriage is a tabloid version of a "Who's Afraid To Virginia Woolf" Which means very close to someone we know. The biggest surprises in the film. besides the amazing dexterity of Sam Mendes at his first outing behind the camera, are West Bentley. Chris Cooper, Thora Brch and Allison Janney. As I'm writing this 8 years after its first release, the Oscars and the whole hullabaloo, I'm very surprised that West Bentley hasn't become a major star. He is amazing in "American Beauty" the complexities of his character are based on recognizable human stands, the hardest to face up to and I went where he went. Thora Birch is lovely as the object of his attention and the film, I believe, is here to say.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Tough for Non-Americans to relate to? LorcaGonzalez
Why Colonel Fitts kissed Lester? chris610
Why was Jane a cheerleader? dcavalli
What message has this film gave to you? Tuamamma1997
I liked this on first viewing but now it seems pretty stale and hollow liching1
Who else wanted to punch Annette Bening's character in the face? trcrock
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