American Beauty is at its core a darkly comic critique of suburban life with just a touch of redemption. Very well written and directed, the tale of Lester Burnham's final year of life keenly delves into the repressed desires, rampant materialism, skewed values, and gnawing insecurities lurking behind the crisply manicured lawns and meticulously decorated houses lining Any Street in the USA. A concept that I absolutely love! All to often the whole "everything is perfect" attitude of Americans can really get on my nerves, so it's nice to see trouble in sub-urban paradise through the medium of a bit of black comedy. (FYI by no means do hate Americans or America, I just think that sometimes the opinion held by a number of its citizens that America is perfect gets a bit tiresome)
Anchored by Kevin Spacey's gleefully sarcastic performance as well as, the superb ensemble cast of adults and teens we get navigated through the myriad dysfunctions with wit and flashes of tragedy.
I think all the characters in this film are constantly on a search for exquisiteness in the mundane, whether in rose petal-strewn dreams or grainy images of a dancing bag, the wonderful direction lets the audience see what the characters are seeing and feeling.
Just by the amount of parodies that have been made over the years, you can gauge the status of this film, its an icon! I really can't find any faults with American Beauty at all. Sensitive direction, amazing script, spot on acting from all the cast and the music and cinematography only work to complement the insightful compassionate feel of this movie. A must see film.