George Clooney returns as director for the first time since the 2014 critical and commercial disappointment The Monuments Men, in the new film suburb become.
Set in 1959 in the fictional town of Suburbicon – a peaceful and idyllic community and the perfect place to raise a family – the film film follows lows the lodge family.
In the lead role is Matt Damon, unassuming husband to Rose (Julianne Moore) and father to their young son Nicky (Noah Jupe) whose lives is thrown into chaos one night when mysterious strangers enter the family property and trouble ensues…
At the same time the town sees the arrival of their first-ever Black family, new neighbours of the Lodges, who are greeted with appalling protests and racism.
The film works to follow these two stories as we watch two very different families reacting to two very different situations in two very different ways.
The metaphor isn’t subtle as a statement about suburban America and race relations – whilst chaos surrounds the Lodge family, the town is far too busy to notice because all their attention is focusing on the new black family that has arrived into the town. Yet it this family that meet all of the aggression from the townspeople with quiet dignity and restraint.
The film is certainly a dark comedy thriller (possibly a little too dark) and the script is very reminiscent of previous Coen brothers work.
However, something doesn’t quite work in this film and I’m not quite sure what it is. It may be that the script is just a little too dark, it may be that the clever points this film feels that it’s making, aren’t actually as subtle or as clever as it thinks.
As a supporting turn from Oscar Isaacs (which actually may well be the highlight of the film), alongside the impactful performances of Karimah Westbrook and Leith Burke – the mother and father of the new family into the town.
After the disappointment of The Monuments Men you feel that George Clooney has reached back to the Coen brothers as an attempt to rediscover a source of previous success that he has had. Unfortunately this isn’t it.
It’s quirky, it has witty moments, and has a story to tell, but for me it didn’t manage to deliver anything near its promise.