American Beauty

American Beauty

Release Date



  • Sam Mendes


  • Kevin Spacey
  • Annette Bening
  • Thora Birch
  • Mena Suvari
  • Chris Cooper
  • Peter Gallagher

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a middle-aged, middle-class suburbanite trapped in a loveless marriage and dead-end job. Lester’s ambitious realtor wife, Carolyn (Annette Bening), and his sullen teenage daughter, Jane (Thora Birch), think he is a chronic loser. When Lester becomes infatuated with Jane’s sexy best friend Angela (Mena Suvari), he awakens to life’s possibilities. No longer willing to play the role of complacent husband and dutiful employee, he rebels with a vengeance. The freer Lester becomes, the happier he seems to be, but his adolescent rebirth takes its toll on the people around him. Directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Ball, American Beauty won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Cinematography.

Past Programs


The Nature of Happiness

Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA