American Beauty

American Beauty

Sam Mendes (1999)

bbfc_rating|ages_18_and_over Certificate


Our Score
British theatre director Sam Mendes made an astonishing film debut with this sublime black comedy about midlife crises, starring Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening as a bored couple in suburban America. The sexually frustrated Bening begins an affair with estate agent Peter Gallagher; Spacey, meanwhile, fantasises about Mena Suvari, a teenage friend of his daughter's. Their disparate needs make for a comic tragedy of misunderstanding that combines acute observations with side-splitting scenarios. This truly outstanding film (on which Steven Spielberg acted as an uncredited producer) deservedly picked up a clutch of Oscars, including best picture, best director and best actor for Spacey.


A suburban family man has a mid-life crisis when he becomes infatuated with a friend of his teenage daughter. Struggling to cope with the unhealthy attention her father is lavishing on her friend, the girl begins a tentative relationship of her own, while her harassed mother is also having an affair. Sam Mendes' Oscar-winning black comedy drama, starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Mena Suvari and Wes Bentley.

Cast & Crew

Lester Burnham Kevin Spacey
Carolyn Burnham Annette Bening
Jane Burnham Thora Birch
Ricky Fitts Wes Bentley
Angela Hayes Mena Suvari
Buddy Kane Peter Gallagher
Barbara Fitts Allison Janney
Jim Olmeyer Scott Bakula
Jim Berkley Sam Robards
Colonel Fitts Chris Cooper
Director Sam Mendes
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UIPGuidance: Contains violence, swearing, sex scenes, drug abuse and nudity. Available on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 28 Jan 2000
Drama Comedy