You know what sucks? I'll tell you what sucks - I wrote a really kickass review of this the other night and then my CD-ROM broke from playing the Dazed and Confused soundtrack all night, then the computer freaked out and ate the review...so now I have to try and write it again, but I know it will suck.
Definitely the best film of the year and one of the best films I have ever seen. Period.
I will spare you all the Oscar Predictions and award crap that you all the other reviewers have thrown around like confetti - the overall quality of the picture, directing and acting is obvious to everyone who's seen it. What's not so obvious is what the film is really about. I was amused to hear people complain about how depressing the film was as I was leaving the theater. That's funny, because I found it very uplifting. The very last monologue scene was one of the most optimistic "what is the meaning of life?" speeches that I have ever heard in a film. Stop and cherish each day as if it is your last, don't sweat the small stuff and don't sell your soul to corporate hell - that's it in a nutshell. Hell yeah! What could be more uplifting than that?
American Beauty touches on several themes that have been quite popular in recent films. The depiction of cubicle life was very close to how it was covered in Office Space - the apathy, the sitting around trying to look busy, 20 different bosses, efficiency experts, etc...I know this place. I was stuck in cubicle land for 9 months and it broke me. Never again. The only thing that could have been more accurate about cubicle land would be if they would have had him surfing the net all day between masturbation breaks. That's all I did in cubicle land and I know that's what all my friends still stuck in cubicle land do all day. I never masturbated at work though. Girls can never pull that shit off.
I would go into an analysis of the symbolic use of the color red, but I think you got enough of that shit in my review of The Matrix. At least Elfstrom liked it...Another interesting thing - a guy I work with compared the shooting scene to the suicide scene in Full Metal Jacket. What do you think about that, children?
To sum up - go see it twice like I did. Hell, one-up me and go see it three times.
[Actually, I think this review turned out better than the first one. All things happen for a reason!]