|KENNETH TURAN LA Times|
"Stars, Story Shine in an Unsettling, Provocative Film." (Sub-heading, not in body of review)
"Unsettling, unnerving, undefinable "
"Unsettling, unnerving, undefinable, American Beauty a quirky and disturbing take on modern American life energized by bravura performances from Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening, Beauty is a blood-chilling dark comedy with unexpected moments of both fury and warmth, a strange, brooding and very accomplished film that sets us back on our heels from its opening frames."
" provocative debut for director Sam Mendes "
"Whenever a film is this distinctive, it invariably starts with the writing."
"Scenes ambush us out of nowhere, revealing both flash-floods of fury and frustration to powerful to contain "
" the quality of the acting is especially crucial, and its hard to overstate how faultlessly the actors handle them these characters are all inhabited completely and convincingly."
"(Wes) Bentley, in a haunting role brings a commanding but low-key intensity and intimacy to Ricky Fitts that never promises more than it can deliver."
" Spaceys power is finally the energy that drives this film "
" one of the great names of cinematography, the eight-time Oscar nominated Conrad Hall gives the film a dreamlike quality, set off by the right touch of cool, composed reality."
" theres definitely a hell of a picture here."