it tells the story of lester burnham (the always incredible kevin spacey) and his messed up life and family. lester is a shell of a man, living an awful and nearly dead life, hating his job, out of touch with his wife and absent from his daughter's life. his wife (annette benning) is consumed with materialism and success. the movie tells the story of how burnham tries to change his life, and what he learns in the end. while it is full of potentially "morally offensive" material, the movie is not condoning the things that the characters do - it is showing the breakdown in relationships and in the american family. the movie is showing us that things are not always what they appear. lester seems like a loser, but he turns out not to be. his wife seems like a successful real estate agent, but she is a desperate housewife (literally). his daughter's friend angela seems to be a sex-crazed budding model, but she is only an insecure little girl. lester's neighbor seems to be some kind of homophobic colonel in the armed forces who abuses his son, but he turns out to be...well, you'll have to watch the movie for that. no one is what they appear to be.
as it turns out, after i was putting the dvd back into its case, i realized that the subtitle to the movie is: ...look closer.
look closer. things are not always what they appear to be. beauty is not always what we think it is. it certainly isn't always what our culture tells us it is. it might be simpler. or fatter. or darker. or just different from what you think. sometimes the things that we think are beautiful are well, not so much. that was the idea i had in my mind when i created this collage several years ago:
gregory a. milinovich
i think that each one of us ought to aspire to see more beauty in the world around us, and to surrender our status as slaves to a culture that tries to impose its ideas of beauty on us. yes, i mean that beauty is something different than glamour, elle and cosmo would tell us, but i also mean that beauty is more than we have always thought. maybe there is beauty in almost everything. maybe, as the movie suggests, if we would just pay attention, we would see so much beauty in this world that our hearts would nearly be unable to take it. and maybe, if we open our eyes to see the beautiful where we have not been expecting it, we just might find God in all of God's incredible mystery and majesty, robed in the regular, but breathlessly beautiful nonetheless.
anyway, that's what i'm looking for.