American Beauty (1999) (mini-review++)

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(If you’re curious, my review process. It’s also pasted at the end of this post. I don’t believe in Rotten Tomatoes. I just believe in me.)

(***all-purpose SPOILER ALERT*** there may be some in this review)

acting 7

directing 7

effects 7

editing 7

writing 7

SW SCORE: 35

3.5 out of 5 🐙

++

Another favorite Hollywood story is when a middle-aged person abandons their traditional, normal life and starts all over, eschewing all the expectations society has thrust on them. Kevin Spacey plays a guy in this situation. He’s surrounded by a miserable family and heck, he was once miserable, too. And there’s no forgetting that he doubtless caused some of their misery, too. But he decides enough is enough and starts to have a mini-midlife crisis and or reawakening. It’s a nice message: that it’s never too late. Now for the controversial bit. Yes, he does fall for an underage girl. And, yes, she is not some innocent bystander though obviously consent cannot exist from a girl of that age not to mention the power imbalance at play. At the moment where it looks like he is going to go down that path, he stops and sees her for what she is: a girl pretending to be an adult. I think that’s pretty rare and slightly unrealistic. But isn’t that kind of uncommon realization the stuff movies are made of?

That whole floating plastic bag scene is stupid, though.

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(1) Shark Wrighter (SW) Score: Based on a sum of 5 sub-scores (acting, directing, writing/story, effects: cinematography &/or animation &/or effects, editing) with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific.

(2) Octopuses (0-5 🐙, with 5 being fantastic and 0 being feces)

(3) Octopuses are my unquantifiable feeling…not that SW score is scientific…but this one is even less so

(4) ++ This optional section includes any incredibly *brilliant observations that don’t fit into simple quantitative slices like the scores and octopuses *(they are likely NOT brilliant)

 

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