An Objective Comparisson between "American Beauty" and "The Sixth Sense",

Essay by DamaA+, November 2002

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"American Beauty" and "The Sixth Sense", both 1999 Academy Award nominees, were films of, as general reviews say, exquisite making and the second and third highest- grossing PPV movies ever for On Command, behind only 20th Century Fox's There's Something About Mary. (Unstead,28) Each movie was based on some part of human development and humanity's struggle to find a median for existence, as well as acceptance of the things that for us, as beings who are not omnipotent, are beyond understanding and control. The most notable qualities in these films were their incredible dedication to realism and, while integrating lighter ideas into the plot, their exploration into the darker and less recognized elements of human disposition and behavior. While the largest differences between these films were their basic plot lines, genres, and character development methods, they had many more elements in common than were initially apparent.

"...look closer" the presiding theme in Sam Mendes' Academy Award winning film "American Beauty". This film surrounds the lives of a middle-aged man, his family, and the outside individuals who affect them in some unknown American suburb. It focuses on the emotional explosion of a family that has been suffering subtle build-up for years. It's the story of Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey), a 42-year-old hack writer for a media magazine whose 14-year career has left him empty, bored and increasingly self-destructive. Moreover, the passion is completely gone from his marriage to Caroline (Annette Bening), his equally dissatisfied but very shallow, real estate salesperson wife and his rebellious teenage daughter, Janie (Thora Birch), has lost her faith in him as a father (Klady, 59). Threatened with dismissal from his job, Lester finds things begin changing for him when he becomes smitten by Jane's best friend, Angela (Mena Suvari). Exhilarated...