American Beauty is a truly inspired and inspiring film. A critical and commercial hit, it captured all of the strains and struggles of a middle-class American Dream gone stale in the late '90s. The combination of a bold, fearless and youthful director in Sam Mendes coupled with a disillusioned screenplay from a jaded Alan Ball set a perfect platform for the wily Conrad Hall to work his camera magic and for Thomas Newman to produce one of cinema's most iconic scores.

American Beauty took home a huge haul from the 1999 Academy Awards, almost scooping the 'Big Five' with Annette Bening just missing out on Best Actress to Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry. Regardless of this one omission, a collection of awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography is nothing to be sniffed at. But there's one thing missing... Best Original Score.

The film's music was provided by the productive, prodigious Thomas Newman - the man behind the music of some of cinema's most loved films. From The Shawshank Redemption to The Green Mile; through to Finding Nemo and WALL-E, Newman has a versatility and lightness of touch when it comes to scoring memorable movies. Despite his undoubted abilities, he's a serial bridesmaid at the Oscars putting DiCaprio to shame - he's been nominated a massive thirteen times and walked away empty-handed on each occasion.

Still, as we all know, trophies are not the marker of great art. It's up for debate whether American Beauty has retained its lustre over the years. In a post 9/11 world, the film seems more than a little privileged and reductive of women and class - but this criticism is irrelevant presentism. A more interesting discussion would be what would a 2016 American Beauty look like? (hopefully, not a BuzzFeed quiz asking which character we are.)

If the film has lost some of its sparkle, the soundtrack remains as glistening as ever. Newman balances original percussive compositions with pop music which telegraphs the character's inner dialogue through the song's lyrics. It's an easy way to 'say something without saying it' but it works a treat, especially in Lester Burnham's post-mid-life crisis stage. Case in point, Kevin Spacey's character drives along, joint in hand singing, "American Woman, stay away from me." On first viewing, it's a straightforward song choice but as the film's tagline implores us to 'look closer', the music takes on a parodic tone according to Drew Miller of Stylus.

The original compositions in American Beauty are the real stand-out moments. 'Dead Already' is instantly recognisable with its percussive opening melody and eerie strings but it's Newman's 'Any Other Name' which has stood the test of time and been used in countless emotional montages since the film's release 17 years ago.

The track opens with a swell of strings before the gentlest of piano notes twinkle and dance between the rolling background texture. It's sparse and delicate, the perfect musical accompaniment to the film's defining plastic bag scene. 'Any Other Name' majestically reappears at the end of the film, elevating the film's emotionally charged final scene to tear-inducing heights. A crowning achievement on an inspired score.