Suburbia in the 1950’s isn’t the perfect place it’s made out to be. I’m giving Suburbicon a C.
Suburbicon is advertised as the perfect place for families. Well-kept lawns, beautiful homes and friendly neighbors but it hides a dark side. When an African American family moves in, the horrible underbelly of the town begins to unravel. Gardner Lodge (played by Matt Damon) has what appears to be a perfect family, but he’s hiding secrets which end in bloodshed and death.
Based on an early script by the Coen Brothers, George Clooney and Grant Heslov rewrote the story moving it from a more humorous story to a dark commentary on life in suburban America. Additionally, directed by Clooney, Suburbicon tells two stories simultaneously of the first African American family in an all-white neighborhood and the racial hatred which occurs, alongside the breakdown of a typical suburban family who is more demented than they first appear.
The two stories don’t really blend. While the African American family faces some very realistic hatred and racial bigotry, it’s the “normal” family who is the main focus. It’s this heavy handedness about the message of the “con” of Suburbia and what is hidden behind the perfect lawns and homes, which is pummeled over the viewer’s head.
Additionally, the story is dark and deeply disturbing. The poor child of Gardner faces many horrors which leave you feeling icky as you exit the movie. Not only that, but the movie leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Plot points are brought up and never explored. It left me wondering about my own perception and what Mr. Clooney wanted the characters to show. In fact, the ending feels very awkward, moving back to a “normal” place after all the horrors, but we don’t know what will happen next.
Certainly not a movie for a family fun night, and not one for a date. If you are a fan of Damon’s acting or the Coen brothers, this might interest you, but wait and see it at home where you can take a shower to clean the filth off afterward.
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