However, this changes, when he meets at basketball match best friend of his daughter – Angela Hayes. He fells immediately in love with her. Later at home, he overhears a dialogue between Jane and Angela, saying that if he would work out a little bit, he would be hot and Angela would **** him.
Now, that gives him suddenly a meaning and purpose in his life. Driven by desire to win Angela, he starts to work out. But not only that, most importantly, he starts to live! He finally wakes up from the coma and starts doing things, he always wanted to do. Throughout the movie, we are following his change, from being a loser to becoming a man, who is in control of his life.
All of the acting performances in American Beauty are tremendous, thanks to a great collaboration between actors and director. The great thing about director like Sam Mendes is that he comes out of a theatre, so he knows how to utilize rehearsals, he has a deep understanding of actors and knows, how to shape their performances . Let’s look now, how such successful collaboration looks like.
There are several subtle examples documenting Lester’s change, we’ll look at one of those examples, a dinner scene occurring twice during the movie.
The first dinner scene is happening before Lester meets Angela. If you look at the picture above, you’ll notice, that there are several things going on, but right now, I want you to look closely at Lester and Carolyn.
Even though the framing looks balanced (Jane in the middle and Lester and Carolyn occupying almost the same space in the frame), it is clear, who is more dominant and superior thanks to their body language. Lester is sitting stooped on the chair and avoids the eye-contact, revealing thus his low self-esteem.
Now, if we look at the second dinner scene later in the movie, we’ll notice, that things have clearly changed since Lester met Angela. He sits on the chair with his back straightened, looks comfortable and relaxed in comparison to the previous picture. Also, notice the small details like style of his clothing, or the bottle of the beer on the table in the second picture.
These are subtle examples, but subconsciously, they help to tell a story of a man going through a life change. Lets finish this article with one example of before and after (his life change):