Studying American Beauty is a comprehensive guide to the stylish and spectacularly successful film debut of director Sam Mendes and Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball. Jeremy Points considers everything students and teachers of Film and Media Studies are likely to be interested in: cinematography, narrative, genre, representation, realism, ideology, institutions and audiences. But not only is this the definitive study guide to American Beauty; it's also a perfect model for the exploration of films in general. The author offers an ideal template for examining a text, the way audiences make sense of it and the way industrial contexts affect not only the nature of the film but the way audiences respond. Whether new to Film Studies or an experienced teacher, Studying American Beauty offers a fresh look at the skills necessary for a successful analysis.