What Do Roses Represent in ‘American Beauty’? (Hint: It Ain’t Beauty)

«It’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world.»

Themes and motifs are pretty complicated elements to add to a screenplay, but when they work, they add incredible dimension and richness to your story. Case in point: Sam Mendes’ American Beauty. Not only did the film win five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Writing (for screenwriter Alan Ball), but its treatment of the themes of conformity and beauty continues to engage audiences through a sardonically ernest tale about the unraveling of a middle-class suburban family

ScreenPrism offers up a worthy analysis of the film’s themes and motifs, particularly the possible interpretation of the rose and how it’s used as a reminder that some things, both in the movie and in life, are not always as they appear to be.

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