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American Beauty
(1999)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:

Co-Produced by:
Bill Bernstein

Orchestrated by:
Thomas Pasatieri
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Dreamworks Records
(January 11th, 2000)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
Winner of a BAFTA Award and a Grammy Award. Nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
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ALSO SEE




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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you have an open mind to eclectic and eccentric film scores with catchy rhythms and a variety of bizarre instrumentation for a seemingly incongruous concept on screen.

Avoid it... if you assume that the score will be as attractive on album as it certainly is in the film.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #27
WRITTEN 1/26/00, REVISED 6/22/08
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Newman
Newman
American Beauty: (Thomas Newman) So few character films about American suburbia have succeeded with the vibrant, care-free, cynical humor of Sam Mendes' American Beauty that critics and audiences launched it to Oscar gold. Superb acting performances and a script worth dying for brought to life six extremely well-rounded characters that each represents a facet of the society on which American Beauty comments. Explorations of identity rarely stir up religious conservatives with the effectiveness of this film, and for its smart and deprived sense of humor alone, the production deserves significant respect. Composer Thomas Newman provided a score for American Beauty that would become an icon in the music industry, despite failing to win the Golden Globe or Academy Award for which it was nominated. Much fun has been poked at Newman, in fact, for his outward disgust and associated facial contortions at the moment of this Oscar loss (as seen on the split-screen format of the televised event), one of no less than eight times he has lost without winning a statue (as of 2008). Still, the funky rhythms and instrumentation of his music for American Beauty have inspired an entire generation of television commercials with a similar sound, many of which related to the automotive industry, oddly enough. There are, from time to time, film scores that are an absolutely perfect match for the content of their overarching production, but which, for whatever reason, largely fail when heard on album. American Beauty is perhaps one of the most vivid examples of such a score. Its unconventional style, often summarized by the words "eclectic" and "eccentric," is extremely well suited for the disposition of each character in the film. It would seem, on the surface, that a movie about the everyday characters of American suburbia would merit a score closer to Elmer Bernstein's The Deep End of the Ocean, a heartfelt expression of disillusion and loss. But the tone of American Beauty demanded something different, something as distinctively defiant as its main character. Newman's score embodies that sound so well that the music is an absolutely necessary souvenir for fans of the film.

Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
13,742 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.82 Stars
***** 2,943 5 Stars
**** 1,021 4 Stars
*** 3,043 3 Stars
** 4,091 2 Stars
* 2,644 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
199 TOTAL COMMENTS
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WAR movie - Club scene song name
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Filmtracks needs a dictionary
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Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review #2
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Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review #1
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Me gustaria que..........
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Help! - film scene analysis
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 37:29
• 1. Dead Already (3:18)
• 2. Arose (1:05)
• 3. Power of Denial (1:43)
• 4. Lunch w/the King (2:26)
• 5. Mental Boy (1:43)
• 6. Mr. Smarty Man (1:10)
• 7. Root Beer (1:07)
• 8. American Beauty (3:06)
• 9. Bloodless Freak (1:38)
• 10. Choking the Bishop (1:53)
• 11. Weirdest Home Videos (2:03)
• 12. Structure & Discipline (3:06)
• 13. Spartanette (0:59)
• 14. Angela Undress (1:43)
• 15. Walk Home (1:34)
• 16. Blood Red (1:20)
• 17. Any Other Name (0:37)
• 18. Still Dead (4:06)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes extensive credits, but no extra information about the film or score. Individual performances are listed below:

Michael Fisher: tablas, kim-kim drums, bird calls
George Doering: mandola, appalachian dulcimer, lap steel guitar
Rick Cox: banjo ukulele, bass tin whistle
Steve Kujala: flute
George Budd: processed bass flute, phonograph
Chas Smith: pedal steel guitar
Steve Tavaglione: flute, ewi
Bruce Dukov: arpeggiated violin
Bill Bernstein: detuned mandolin
Thomas Newman: saz, piano

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The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from American Beauty are Copyright © 2000, Dreamworks Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 1/26/00 and last updated 6/22/08.
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