Look Closer…. AMERICAN BEAUTY. The Plot. Catalyst for change. Jane asks Ricky if he would kill her father Lester is a middle-aged ‘loser’ questioning his life Lester is introduced to Jane’s friend Angela , and becomes infatuated
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Catalyst for change
Jane asks Ricky if he would kill her father
Lester is a middle-aged ‘loser’ questioning his life
Lester is introduced to Jane’s friend Angela, and becomes infatuated
Lester works out to impress Angela, creating a gym in the garage.
Lester meets new neighbour Ricky - his new ‘hero’(quit job & smokes dope)
Ricky’s father, Col Fitts is disgusted by two gay male neighbours (Jim & Jim)
Ricky is mesmerised by Lester’s daughter Jane, finding her beautiful
Lester’s wife Carolyn begins an affair with Real Estate ‘idol’ Buddy Kane.
Jane falls for Ricky, who shows her beauty in mundane everyday moments
Col Fitts hits Ricky for ‘snooping’ in his private study
Lester quits his advertising job, and takes a burger job
Catalyst for change
Lester buys a red 1970 Firebird.
Carolyn begins gun lessons with Buddy
Lester discovers Carolyn’s affair. Buddy ‘finishes’ the affair
Col Fitts ‘misreads’ a meeting where Ricky sells Lester dope
Col Fitts beat Ricky, believing he is gay
Ricky chooses to leave home & Jane agrees to go with him
Assuming Lester is gay, Col Fitts tries to kiss him
Lester gently rejects his advances
Ricky tells Angela she is ‘ordinary’
Angela seeks reassurance, offering herself to Lester
Angela reveals she is a virgin
Lester chooses not to sleep with her (no longer object of desire)
Lester is shot dead by Col Fitts - but dies smiling!
(The ending is rife with fatalism and irony)
Signature style = seen in other films (Road to Perdition, Jarhead, Revolutionary Road)
with a soldier in Vietnam. Why did Mendes edit it out?
an older conservative character. Is the film suggesting
that a younger generation is more accepting?
10. What representations of men in AB could be seen
as “homoerotic” ? i.e. images which could target
a homosexual audience?