Kevin Spacey stars as Lester Burnham, a year-old advertising executive who has a midlife crisis when he becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter's best friend, Angela Mena Suvari.
The film is described by academics as a satire of American middle-class notions of beauty and personal satisfaction; analysis has focused on the film's explorations of romantic and paternal love, sexuality, beauty, materialism, self-liberation, and redemption. Ball began writing American Beauty as a play in the early s, partly inspired by the media circus around the Amy Fisher trial in He shelved the play after realizing the story would not work on stage. American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity several years as a television screenwriter, Ball revived the idea in when attempting to break into the film industry.
The rewritten script had a cynical outlook that was influenced by Ball's frustrating tenures writing for several sitcoms. American Beauty marked theater director Mendes' film debut; courted after his successful productions of the musicals Oliver! Spacey was Mendes' first choice for the role of Lester, though DreamWorks urged him to consider better-known actors; similarly, the studio suggested several actors for the role of Carolyn until Mendes offered the part to Bening without DreamWorks' knowledge.
Principal photography took place between December and February on soundstages at the Warner Bros. Mendes' dominant style was deliberate and composed; he made extensive use of static shots and slow pans and zooms to generate tension.
Cinematographer Conrad Hall complemented Mendes' style with peaceful shot compositions to contrast with the turbulent on-screen events. During editing, Mendes made several changes that gave the film a less cynical tone than the script. Reviewers praised most aspects of the production, with particular emphasis on Mendes, Spacey, and Ball; criticism focused on the familiarity of the characters and setting.
It was nominated for and won many other awards and honors, mainly for the direction, writing, and acting. Lester Burnham is a middle-aged magazine executive who despises his job. His wife, Carolyn, is an ambitious real estate broker; their sixteen-year-old daughter, Jane, abhors her parents and has low self-esteem. The Fitts' teenage son, Ricky, obsessively films his surroundings with a camcorder, collecting hundreds of recordings on video tapes in his bedroom, and uses his part-time job of a social events waiter as a front for his secret marijuana dealings.
Frank is a strict disciplinarian who previously forced Ricky into a military academy and briefly committed him to a psychiatric hospital. Jim Olmeyer and Jim Berkley, a gay couple who live nearby, welcome the family to the neighborhood; Col. Fitts later reveals his homophobia when angrily discussing the incident with Ricky.
Lester becomes infatuated American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity Jane's vain cheerleader friend, Angela Hayes, after seeing her perform a American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity dance routine at a high school basketball game. He starts having sexual fantasies about Angela, in which red rose petals are a recurring motif.
Carolyn begins an affair with a married business rival, Buddy Kane. Lester is told he is being laid off, but instead blackmails his boss, Brad, for American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity year's salary plus benefits.
He continues his liberation by taking up employment American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity a fast-food outlet, purchasing his dream car and doing physical workout after he overhears Angela telling Jane that she would find him sexually attractive if he improved his physique. He begins smoking marijuana supplied by Ricky, and flirts with Angela whenever she visits Jane.
The girls' friendship wanes after Jane starts a relationship with Ricky; they bond over what Ricky considers the most beautiful imagery he has ever filmed: Lester discovers Carolyn's infidelity, but reacts indifferently. Buddy ends the affair, fearing an expensive divorce.
Frank becomes suspicious of Lester and Ricky's friendship and later finds his son's footage of a nude Lester lifting weights,
American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity Ricky captured by chance.
After watching Ricky and Lester through Lester's garage window, Frank mistakenly concludes they are sexually involved.
He later beats Ricky and accuses him of being gay. Fed up with his father's authoritarian lifestyle, Ricky goads Frank to expel him from their home by falsely admitting to the charges. Carolyn is shown sitting in her car, where she
American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity a handgun from the glove box. Ricky finds Jane in the midst of an argument with Angela and convinces her to flee with him to New York City, before admonishing Angela as being boring and ordinary.
Frank confronts Lester and attempts to kiss him, but Lester rebuffs Frank, who flees. Lester finds a distraught Angela sitting alone in the dark. She asks him to tell her she is beautiful; he does, and the pair kiss.
However, moments before they are about to have sex, Angela admits her virginity and Lester decides not to go through with the act. Instead, they talk, and bond over their shared frustrations. Angela goes to the bathroom and Lester smiles at a family photograph in his kitchen before being shot by an unseen intruder. Ricky and Jane find Lester's body, while Carolyn is seen crying in the closet. A bloodied Frank returns home, where a gun is missing from his collection.
Lester's closing narration describes meaningful experiences during his life; he says that, despite his death, he is happy because there is so much beauty in the world. Scholars and academics have offered many possible readings of American Beauty ; film critics are similarly divided, not so much about the quality of the film, as their interpretations of it. Mendes is indecisive, saying the script seemed to be about something different each time he read it: It was funny; it was angry, sad.
Booth concludes that the film resists any one interpretation: It is more tempting to summarize it as
American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity portrait of the American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity underlying American miseries and misdeeds', but that plays down the scenes of cruelty and horror, and disgust with our mores.
It cannot be summarized with either Lester or Ricky's philosophical statements about what life is or how one should live. According to Booth, the film's true controller is the creative energy "that hundreds of people put into its production, agreeing and disagreeing, inserting and cutting".
Mendes called American Beauty a rite of passage film about imprisonment and escape from imprisonment. The monotony of Lester's existence is established through his gray, nondescript workplace and characterless clothing. He masturbates in the confines of his shower;  the shower stall evokes a jail cell and the shot is the first of many where Lester is confined behind bars or within frames,   such as when he is reflected behind columns of numbers on a computer monitor, "confined [and] nearly American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity out".
Pennington argues that Lester's journey is the story's center. When Lester is caught masturbating by Carolyn, his angry retort about their lack of intimacy is the first time he says aloud what he thinks about her.
Mendes called it "the most satisfying end to [Lester's] journey there could possibly have been". With these final scenes, Mendes intended to show Lester at the conclusion of a "mythical quest". After Lester gets a beer from the refrigerator, the camera pushes toward him, then stops facing a hallway down which he walks "to meet his fate". Mendes said that Ricky's staring into Lester's dead eyes is "the culmination of the theme" of the film: Like other American films of —such as Fight ClubBringing Out the Deadand MagnoliaAmerican Beauty instructs its audience to "[lead] more meaningful lives".
Anker argues that the film's thematic center is its direction to the audience to "look closer". The opening combines an unfamiliar viewpoint of the Burnhams' neighborhood with Lester's narrated admission that this is the last day of his life, forcing audiences to consider their own mortality and the beauty around them. If he's already dead, why bother with whatever it is he wishes to tell about his last year of being alive?
There is also the question of how Lester has died—or will die. Hall disagrees; she says by presenting an early resolution to the mystery, the film allows the audience to put it aside "to view the film
American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity its philosophical issues". He shows Jane what he considers the most beautiful thing he has filmed: He says capturing the moment was when he realized that there was "an entire life behind things"; he feels that "sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it On the cusp of having American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity with Angela, he returns to himself after she admits her virginity.
Suddenly confronted with a child, he begins to treat her as a daughter; in doing so, Lester sees himself, Angela, and his family "for the poor and fragile but wondrous creatures they are".
He looks at a picture of his family in happier times,  and dies having had an epiphany that infuses him with "wonder, joy, and soul-shaking gratitude"—he has finally seen the world as it is. According to Patti Bellantoni, colors are used symbolically throughout the film,  none more so than red, which is an important thematic signature that drives the story and "[defines] Lester's arc". First seen in drab colors that reflect his passivity, Lester surrounds himself with red as he regains his individuality.
In these scenes, the rose symbolizes Lester's desire for her. Pennington argues that Beauty defines its characters through their sexuality. Lester's attempts to relive his youth are a direct result of his lust for Angela,  the state of his relationship with Carolyn is in part shown through their lack of sexual contact.
Also sexually frustrated, Carolyn has an affair that takes her from "cold perfectionist" to a more carefree soul who "[sings] happily along with" the music in her car. Fitts reacts with disgust to meeting Jim and Jim; he asks, "How come these faggots always have to rub it in your face? How can they be so shameless? Fitts' reaction is not homophobic, but an "anguished self-interrogation". Lester's transformation conveys "that he, and not the woman, has borne the brunt of [lack of being]" [nb 3] and he will not stand for being emasculated.
Although the film portrays the way Lester returns to that role positively, he does not become "the hypermasculine figure implicitly celebrated in films
American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity Fight Club ". Hausmann concludes that Lester's behavior toward Angela is "a misguided but nearly necessary step toward his becoming a father again".
Hausmann says the film "explicitly affirms the importance of upholding the prohibition against incest";  a recurring theme of Ball's work is his comparison of the taboos against incest and homosexuality. American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity is so ashamed of his homosexuality that it drives him to murder Lester. Fitts' repression is exhibited through the almost sexualized discipline with which he controls Ricky.
Fitts represents Ball's father,  whose repressed homosexual desires led to his own unhappiness. Fitts to delay revealing him as homosexual, which Munt reads as a possible "deferment of Ball's own patriarchal-incest fantasies". American Beauty follows a traditional narrative structure, only deviating with the displaced opening scene of Jane and Ricky from the middle of the story. Although the plot spans one year, the film is narrated by Lester at the moment of his death.
Each image is broadly similar, with minor differences in object placement and body language that reflect the changed dynamic brought on by Lester's new-found assertiveness. Ricky films Jane from his bedroom window as she removes her bra, and the image is reversed later for a similarly "voyeuristic and exhibitionist" scene in which Jane films Ricky at a vulnerable moment. Lester's fantasies are emphasized by slow- and repetitive-motion shots;  Mendes uses double-and-triple cutbacks in several sequences,   and the score alters to make the audience aware that it is entering a fantasy.
While the cheerleaders perform their half-time routine to " On Broadway ", Lester becomes increasingly fixated on Angela. Time slows to represent his "voyeuristic hypnosis" and Lester begins to fantasize that Angela's performance is for him alone. This nondiegetic score is important to creating the narrative stasis in the sequence;  it conveys a moment for Lester that is stretched to an indeterminate length.
The effect is one that Stan Link likens to "vertical time", described by the composer and music theorist Jonathan Kramer as music that imparts "a single present stretched out into an enormous duration, a potentially infinite 'now' that nonetheless feels like an instant".
The sequence ends with the sudden reintroduction of "On Broadway" and teleological time. According to Drew Miller of Stylusthe soundtrack "[gives] unconscious voice" to the characters' psyches and complements the subtext.
Since his announcement, Russian MPs and Christian-run cinemas in America have threatened to boycott the film because of its inclusion of a gay character.
Why weren't the main characters in Beauty and the Beast gay? movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language". American Beauty is a American drama film directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan .
Anker argues that Ricky, in looking past the "cultural dross", has "[grasped] the radiant splendor of the created world" to see God. As the Pennington argues that American Beauty defines its characters through their sexuality.
NewsHomosexualityMon Mar 6, - pm
American beauty analysis homosexuality and christianity. Christian theater owners refuse to show 'Beauty and the Beast' over LGBT agenda also said in its announcement, "When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand.". meaning Luckey's vote couldn't have changed the outcome anyway.
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