It's Sam Mendes’ birthday today. In celebration Chris has recommended the film 'American Beauty'. This was Mendes’ cinematic directorial debut having worked in theatre for many years. Features many exceptional performances from the likes of Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, Chris Cooper, Thora Birch and Mena Suvari. It also won Mendes and Spacey Oscars. The fikm is about Lester Burnham, who suffers a mid-life crisis and does not deal with it hugely well. A modern classic.