American Beauty obsessions

By: John Armstrong

I am always open to watching new movies, TV shows are the media forms I am skeptical to watch; it takes longer to get into to decide if you are interested or not but when watching a movie you either like it or you don’t. American Beauty is a 1999, Drama, Romance film. This movie is a film I had to watch in one of my previous film classes that I thought was a great movie.

Right from the beginning of the movie there is a shot from an handheld camera, you could tell it was the view from a camcorder. A girl (Jane) saying how much she hates her dad, the neighbor (Ricky) asking her if she would want him to kill him for her and she says yes.Throughout the entire film every character has their own obsession with something. In my opinion I believe the obsessions in the film is what makes it more interesting.

Image result for American beauty

Image result for American beauty Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a 42-year-old father, husband and advertising executive who serves as the film’s narrator. Lester’s relationship with his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening), an ambitious realtor who feels that she is unsuccessful at fulfilling her potential. Lester and his wife are both sick and tired of each other and seem to be together only for their daughter.

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Throughout the film, Lester has fantasies involving a sexually aggressive Angela and red rose petals.



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9 Responses to American Beauty obsessions

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I’ve heard of this movie, but never seen it. From your review I am intrigued. It seems like a much darker, bleaker version of a romantic drama, and I like how you discuss the importance of this concept of obsession for the characters.

    -Meg Schmit

  2. I’ve never seen this either, but for some reason I hadn’t pictured at all what you mentioned. That said, it sounds better than what I imagined it to be and your review was a teaser without giving too much away.

    -Kelly FitzGerald

  3. mediaphiles says:

    American Beauty is a fantastic film that, in my opinion, gets better with each consecutive watch. I found this channel called Lessons from the Screenplay a while ago and he did a great video on the screenplay of American Beauty here

    If you have seen the film I’d recommend watching this video. It’s a great video and it makes you appreciate the film’s quality even more. The way this film handles all the characters’ motivations is really well done and that video does a great job of explaining how.

    – Cal Parsons

  4. mediaphiles says:

    This movie is definitely an awesome film and Kevin Spacey is brilliant in it just like he is in almost everything he does. You make a really good and interesting observation about the movie here that I hadn’t personally thought of before.

    -Max Lissette

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I have a hate, love relationship with this film. I think the acting, direction and camera angles are fabulous however I find the overall plot to be disturbing and hard to watch. Due to my conflict with the film, I believe it may be a good film to write a paper on for me!

    Katherine Naylor

  6. mediaphiles says:

    For starters, I love Kevin Spacey. I will watch anything he’s in. The idea that the movie drives on obsessions is really interesting and makes me want to see it.

    -Kendra Thornton

  7. mediaphiles says:

    I had to watch it for a previous class as well and prior to watching it i already told myself i wouldn’t like it. From the opening scene though I was engaged and always wondering when his fantasy would be true or if it ever would be. Great film and the use of dark lightning keeps you on your toes I loved that.
    -Dez Wortham

  8. mediaphiles says:

    I love Kevin Spacey and on a day where I’m feeling mischievous I’ll definitely have to watch this. I’ve heard a lot about it and can’t wait to see this famous “trash bag” shot that everyone is always talking about.

    If you like this film you’ll probably like another Spacey film, The Usual Suspects. Although his role is a little different. just a little…

    Russell Lawrence

  9. mediaphiles says:

    I have watched this movie more than once now, and always find it interesting to get other people’s opinion on it. I think you incorporated some good scenes from the film and gave a good overview of what it is about. The comments on the camera were effective and show that you understood and noticed that technique or aspect of the film.

    Catherine Maier

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