My film class has got me looking at film in different and new ways - because our book mentioned American Beauty, I picked it up from the library.
I remember liking some of the film when I saw it the first time - I understand a lot more of the world now, and I liked some of the same things, but I still was not very happy with the first 2/3 of the film.
The writing and direction was toward very specific performances for all of the characters, namely wooden and stilted for a majority of them, with a little over the top perfectionism from Annette Benning's character, with some (faux) teenage sluttery for Mena Suvari. During the first half of the film this is very annoying.
The last 30 minutes or so the energy of the film really takes off. The characters start INTERACTING with each other. The anger that they feel has been dissipated, they appear really human for the first time. I understand the film is about this very thing, but I wish there could have been more warmth before the denouement. It is just a frustrating film. And a very very very white one.
All those complaints aside, there is wonderful use of colour in the film, and Annette Benning gives a fantastic performance. Okay, and I can appreciate Kevin Spacey's character letting go of the world in the way he does. I can appreciate it A LOT.
[ps. A pox on my insomnia! I have to be up in less than 5 hours, damnit.]