Title – Suburbicon (2017)
Director – George Clooney (Good Night and Good Luck)
Cast – Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac, Noah Jupe
Plot – In the quiet American neighbourhood of Suburbicon in the 1950’s, young boy Nicky (Jupe) begins to question both his father Gardner (Damon) and his auntie Margaret’s (Moore) role in his mother’s death during a violent home invasion.
“I have to make decisions, like what’s best for the family”
Review by Eddie on 20/06/2018
Having proved himself early on in his directing career with the underrated Confessions of a Dangerous Mind in 2002 then hitting the big time with Oscar player Good Night and Good Luck in 2005, screen icon George Clooney has found the going rather tough in the year’s that have followed with the likes of The Ides of March, Monuments Men and Leatherheads all failing to hit the mark either critically, commercially or even in a craft sense.
With a discarded script by the Coen Brothers, a cast brimming with talent that includes leads Matt Damon and Julianne Moore and support from Oscar Isaac and Wonder rising star Noah Jupe and an intriguing setting of suburban America in the 1950’s, Suburbicon seemed to be the likely welcome back to form event for Clooney the filmmaker, that instead has turned out to be one of the biggest duds of the Silverfox’s career behind camera and another extremely unfortunate member of Matt Damon’s terrible class of 2017.
Tonally uneven, criminally unfunny and generally over-done, Suburbicon is not the dark comedy trailers might’ve originally suggested as Clooney instead goes for the heavy handed approach in his examination of the racial tensions of the day and the expose of Damon and Moore’s Gardner and Margaret as they look to get away with murder and a nice insurance package to boot.
Key to Suburbicon’s failure’s as a cohesive whole outside of Clooney’s misguided direction is the fact the collection of characters in this story are incredibly unlikeable outside of Jupe’s unfortunate Nicky and his kind-hearted uncle Mitch. Everyone outside of that is detestable at best and even with the runs they have on the board, Damon and Moore can’t make their irksome duo work while Isaac may as well not have shown up for his underdeveloped role.
Clooney struggling with his core narrative and lead turns also fails to make the most of Suburbicon’s ripe set-up and in particular setting and outside of a nicely constructed opening sequence, Suburbicon never even attempts to make the most of its time and place setting outside of some angry residents getting riled up over some coloured folk moving into the quiet suburban paradise and at the end of the day, the events of Suburbicon could’ve been easily transported into today’s setting without the film’s core story needing to be changed at all.
Final Say –
A huge letdown and another cross against Clooney the filmmaker, Suburbicon fails to fire on any cylinder. Neither funny, thrilling or overly original, Suburbicon is a neighbourhood your best off avoiding.
1 neighbourhood mob out of 5