Costa's Garden Odyssey is an Australian television gardening program hosted by landscape architect Costa Georgiadis. Costa takes a holistic approach to gardening and horticulture, emphasising the importance of water and its management and the benefits of sustainable living. Costa spreads his green wisdom while communicating with people and celebrating cultures and community.
Monty Don returns to help more amateur horticulturists transform their small or average-sized plots into something extraordinary.
Monty Don explores the fascinating history and evolution of the British garden, from the seventeenth century through to the modern day.
Around the World in 80 Gardens is a BBC series that follows broadcaster Monty Don as he travels all over the planet searching for world-class gardens – ancient and modern, large and small, grand and humble. In total, exactly eighty gardens are featured during his 10 journeys, and include the Alhambra, the gardens of the Taj Mahal in India, the gardens of the Villa D’Este in Italy and many important botanic and royal gardens from Thailand to Bali, from New Zealand to Europe and from China to Mexico.
From its first gliding aerial shot of a generic suburban street, American Beauty moves with a mesmerizing confidence and acuity epitomized by Kevin Spacey's calm narration. Spacey is Lester Burnham, a harried Everyman whose midlife awakening is the spine of the story, and his very first lines hook us with their teasing fatalism–like Sunset Boulevard's Joe Gillis, Burnham tells us his story from beyond the grave.
It's an audacious start for a film that justifies that audacity. Weaving social satire, domestic tragedy, and whodunit into a single package, Alan Ball's first theatrical script dares to blur generic lines and keep us off balance, winking seamlessly from dark, scabrous comedy to deeply moving drama. The Burnham family joins the cinematic short list of great dysfunctional American families, as Lester is pitted against his manic, materialistic realtor wife, Carolyn (Annette Bening, making the most of a mostly unsympathetic role) and his sullen, contemptuous teenaged daughter, Jane (Thora Birch, utterly convincing in her edgy balance of self-absorption and wistful longing). Into their lives come two catalytic outsiders. A young cheerleader (Mena Suvari) jolts Lester into a sexual epiphany that blooms into a second adolescence. And an eerily calm young neighbor (Wes Bentley) transforms both Lester and Jane with his canny influence.
Credit another big-screen newcomer, English theatrical director Sam Mendes, with expertly juggling these potentially disjunctive elements into a superb ensemble piece that achieves a stylized pace without lapsing into transparent self-indulgence. Mendes has shrewdly insured his success with a solid crew of stage veterans, yet he's also made an inspired discovery in Bentley, whose Ricky Fitts becomes a fulcrum for both plot and theme. Cinematographer Conrad Hall's sumptuous visual design further elevates the film, infusing the beige interiors of the Burnhams' lives with vivid bursts of deep crimson, the color of roses–and of blood.Sam Sutherland