Suburbicon is Strange but Under George Clooney’s Sharp Direction it Swings for The Fences (Blu-ray Review)

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Suburbicon is directed by George Clooney, co-written by Clooney, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, and Grant Heslov. The film stars Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Noah Jupe, and Oscar Isaac. The blu-ray is available to own now from Paramount Pictures! Check out my review here:

suburbicon bluray cover

Suburbicon is a peaceful, idyllic, suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns — the perfect place to raise a family, and in the summer of 1959, the Lodge family is doing just that. But the tranquil surface masks a disturbing reality, as husband and father Gardner Lodge must navigate the town’s dark underbelly of betrayal, deceit and violence.


Review

Suburbicon caught a lot of shit when it came out last year. George Clooney decided to dig up an old un-used Coen Bros. script from his closet (literally blowing the dust off it, which he reveals in the special features) and then re-wrote around 50% of it. The film is a 50’s noir that tackles both racism and murder (but never manages to mix these two subplots together in a cohesive fashion). Matt Damon stars as a husband whose life begins to unravel after the shocking and bizarre death of his wife, while the neighborhood around him dives into chaos as white people lose their minds after an African American family buys a home there. You get two movies for the price of one if you look at the bright side of this strange film that really does swing for the fences under the sharp direction of Clooney. You can tell it “was” a Coen bros movie, at least during the Damon storyline which goes to such extreme and ridiculous places that it would feel right at home beside other Coen films like Fargo and Burn After Reading.

It’s the whole racism side-plot that, although intriguing and based on a true story mind you (check the special features – they are quite good), it just always derails the flow of the movie every time we see these African Americans harassed by middle-white-America. These white goons camp out and play instruments all day and night to try and annoy this family right out of town. It’s ridiculous and it’s sad that this entire storyline is almost scene for scene completely true. It just… would have made for a better film on it’s own.

suburbicon review

Damon does a great job playing the snobby widow with some dark secrets of his own, while Julianne Moore actually plays not one but TWO people and really brings home that Stepford Wives creep factor to perfection. The supporting cast are all aces too, especially Oscar Isaac who provides some brilliant comedic relief late in the movie. In spite of the movie’s glaring problems script-wise, Suburbicon is a cool little flick that I hope finds more love as a home release. There isn’t anything else out there quite like it and I appreciate that.

Special Features

  • Commentary by George Clooney and Grant Heslov
  • Welcome to Suburbicon
  • The Unusual Suspects: Casting
  • Scoring Suburbicon

suburbicon george clooney

The special features includes in this Blu-ray are stellar and far more in-depth than they had any right to be. You’ll find out that they used actual news footage from the time period and true story of the African american family that was harassed by the town etc — complete with casual N-Bombs thrown around during interviews etc. It’s all very jarring and amazing that Clooney and his team did this much work to make Suburbicon as authentic as it could possibly be. From the neighbourhood they used to film this weird little movie, to the incredible array of classic cars, you’ll dive into all of that. There’s roughly an hour-plus of bonus features included on the disc and I would highly recommend checking out the ‘Welcome to Suburbicon’ feature immediately after seeing the movie if you’re brave enough to disregard the majority of the people who unfairly shat on Suburbicon when it was in theaters.

Rating:

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