Sam Mendes’ debut film and eventual Best Picture Winner at the Oscars is an incisive, deliriously funny and profound vision of the American Dream hitting meltdown. “American Beauty” is about mood, not plot. Sadly, the mood is despair, isolation and hopelessness. Lester (Kevin Spacey), who narrates this riveting film, informs viewers at the beginning that he will be dead by the end but the film itself helps understand why this tough decision is made as well as why it seems like a it sadly isn’t the worst option.
Lester’s life seems like the perfect one, he has a respectable job and a family. But he is slowly but surely falling into a deep depression. This new struggle in life that he is facing leads him to do outrageous things, and becoming infatuated with his daughter’s friend, Angela, seems to be the most impactful thing.
Mara and Blanchett make for an unforgettable couple in a beautiful film about longing, loss and the confusion and wonder of love. This movie will haunt you with its tale of love denied and forbidden, and a woman’s quest to live authentically while facing social prejudices and bigotry that force her to make a difficult choice. Haynes’ commitment to outcasts, then and now, makes Carol a romantic spellbinder that cuts deep, it is based on Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt, the Oscar-nominated film is a triumph of its lead actors in particular.
Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) works at a department store in Manhattan where she encounters the beautiful Carol (Cate Blanchett). Things take an unexpected turn when Therese develops strong feelings for Carol and is trying to figure out how to deal with these emotions without ruining her entire life.