American Beauty


Release Date: September 15, 1999

Status: Released

Running time: 2h 2m

Content Rating: R

Budget: $15,000,000

Revenue: $356,296,601

Filming Locations: Long Beach, United States of America

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DreamWorks Pictures
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Lester Burnham, a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis, decides to turn his hectic life around after developing an infatuation with his daughter's attractive friend.

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Cast & Crew.


American Beauty is a 1999 American black comedy-drama film written by Alan Ball and directed by Sam Mendes in his directorial debut. Kevin Spacey stars as Lester Burnham, an advertising executive who has a midlife crisis when he becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter's best friend, played by Mena Suvari. Annette Bening stars as Lester's materialistic wife, Carolyn, and Thora Birch plays their insecure daughter, Jane. Wes Bentley, Chris Cooper, and Allison Janney co-star. Academics have described the film as satirizing how beauty and personal satisfaction are perceived by the American middle class; further analysis has focused on the film's explorations of romantic and paternal love, sexuality, materialism, self-liberation, and redemption.

After being filmed in California from December 1998 to February 1999, American Beauty was released in North America on September 17, 1999, receiving widespread critical and popular acclaim. It was the second-best-reviewed American film of the year behind Being John Malkovich and grossed over $350 million worldwide against its $15-million budget. Reviewers praised most aspects of the production, with particular emphasis on Mendes, Spacey and Ball; criticism tended to focus on the familiarity of the characters and setting. DreamWorks launched a major campaign to increase American Beauty's chances of Oscar success following its controversial Best Picture snubs for Saving Private Ryan (1998) the previous year.

At the 72nd Academy Awards, the film won five Oscars, including Best Picture, along with Best Director for Mendes, Best Actor for Spacey, Best Original Screenplay for Ball, and Best Cinematography for Hall. The film was nominated for and won many other awards and honors, mainly for directing, writing, and acting.


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