Award-winning British theatre director Sam Mendes' cinema debut is an acer¬bic, darkly comic critique of how social conventions can lead people into sterile, emo¬tionally-stunted lives in small-town America. Acclaimed for his stage productions of Cabaret and The Blue Room - which trans¬ferred from the West End to Broadway -Mendes here turns his attention to the disin¬tegration of a dysfunctional family and the repercussions on their equally oddball neigh¬bours. Utilising arresting stylised fantasy scenes combined with humour, American Beauty's luminous images are courtesy of Oscar-winning cinematographer Conrad Hall, while the script is the work of first-time fea¬ture writer, Alan Ball (known for his televi¬sion work on Grace Under Fire and Cybill).

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Sam Mendes

Written by: Alan Ball

Produced by: Bruce Cohen, Dan Jinks

Cast: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari

Nominations and Awards

  • Screen International Award (for a non-European film) 1999