The IgniteMe Crew is no stranger to America’s vast suburban wastelands. A such, we felt it important to acknowledge a couple of the films that have effectively highlighted the grace and majesty of the ‘burbs. WARNING: Actually visiting the suburbs may cause extreme boredom and suicidal tendencies.
Kevin Spacey stars opposite Annette Bening, as depressed office drone, Lester Burnham. Feeling the full force of his mid-life crisis, Lester begins acting out both at work and at home. Meanwhile, his teenage daughter, Jane (Thora Birch), struggles to cope with the rigors of high school. The film also features a break-out and highly acclaimed performance from Wes Bentley. Bentley plays Ricky Fitts, the new kid on the block.
The film was widely considered the best film of 1999 by the American press. Thanks in no small part to an awards season ad campaign, American Beauty received eight Academy Awards nominations, winning five. It took home Best Director, Best Actor (Spacey), Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. At the 53rd British Academy Film Awards, American Beauty won six of the awards for which it was nominated.
Heavily influenced by his suburban upbringing in Burbank, CA, Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands was originally released in 1990. The plot centers around Edward (Johnny Depp), an unfinished artificial man, created to comfort a dying old inventor (Vincent Price). Unfortunately, the inventor passes before Edward is completed, leaving him with scissors for hands.
Tim Burton has stated publicly that this film best epitomizes his quirky and iconic style. Edward Scissorhands received an Academy Award nomination for Best Makeup, but ultimately lost to Dick Tracy. However, the film did receive the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film. It has since become a cult classic and marks the first film collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. The duo have completed a total of seven projects together.
We have no choice but to thank the suburbs for simply existing. For without them, we would have never seen these films or many more like them. Both films are available on the Netflix Instant Queue.