Suburbicon is a picture-perfect 1950’s suburb where the best and the worst of humanity is reflected through the deeds of ordinary people. Actually, I’d say worst is the operative word here. This is not your “Leave it to Beaver” suburb. After all, the film was written by Academy Award winners Joel and Ethan Coen, who specialize in the dark and twisted, and that’s exactly what ‘Suburbicon” is…a very dark, twisted black comedy.
When the film opens, we meet Gardner Lodge (the outstanding and at times chilling Matt Damon), who leads a seemingly idyllic life in the town of Suburbicon along with his wife, Rose (Julianne Moore), and their son Nicky (the excellent newcomer Noah Jupe). Rose isn’t a very happy person. She holds her husband responsible for the car accident that left her in a wheelchair. Apparently, Gardner had a little too much to drink and never should have been behind the wheel.
Rose has a very sweet, kind twin sister named Margaret (also played by Julianne Moore), who helps around the house. The Lodge’s calm facade is soon shattered when two street toughs, Ira (Glen Fleshler) and Louie (Alex Hassell), invade their home in the middle of the night and take them hostage. I won’t say anything else about this because it would be a ‘spoiler.’
At the same time all this is happening, to the horror of the very white community of Suburbicon, a black family, Mr and Mrs Meyers, (Leith M. Burke and Karimah Westbrook), and their son, Andy (Tony Epinosa), have moved into the neighborhood. The good neighbors welcome them with bricks through their windows, confederate flags, higher grocery prices, and a slew of other extremely hateful things, including building a wall around their house and destroying the family car.
“Suburbicon,” directed by George Clooney, who also helped with the writing, is a glimpse into a time that we’d all like to forget, but as we know, this kind of hatred still exists.
The film will surprise you, shock you, and even at times make you cringe. It has something for everyone…revenge, blackmail, and betrayal, but in the end, it comes down to two boys playing together. The purity of that last shot (and this isn’t a spoiler) stayed with me long after the film was over.
The film opens Friday, October 27th. It’s not for everyone. I think people will either love it or hate it. Me, I loved it.