Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Suburbicon Film Review

George Clooney has crafted a wholesome place to live with Suburbicon. The only thing missing is you, says the marketing blurb. Except if you happen to be black, you can be The Help, but most definitely not a black homeowner in 1959.


When Mr and Mrs Mayers, played by Karimah Westbrook and Leith Burke move in, well the locals aren't happy with this turn of events. And it quite ruins cheery postman Steve Monroe's day. The film is set well before a black President was ever imagined.

Of course the new family are just as pleasant and hard working as your average Suburbicon resident. Go play with the new kid suggests Julianne Moore in her dual role of disabled mother Rose, and foxy Aunt Margaret. Reluctantly son Nicky, played by Noah Jupe, shambles over to Tony Espinosa's Andy, and they make friends. The adults not so much.



A few residents start hanging around the Mayers new house. Not so that you would notice at first. But then the local council agrees to put up a fence so that the new neighbours don't spoil the view. But it's a great place to live.

Except one night Nicky is awakened by his father Gardner, played by Matt Damon. There are people in the house. Robbers in Suburbicon? But it's a safe place to live. Nicky, Rose, Margaret and Gardner are anaesthetised, and when Nicky comes round his mother Rose is in a coma, and eventually dies. So Aunt Margaret decides to stay a while with Gardner and Nicky. Dad sleeping in the cellar with Aunt Margaret in his bedroom. And everyone is so sorry for their loss.

And then suddenly a breakthrough in the case, and the local police have apprehended two goons played by Glenn Flesher and Alex Hassell. Gardener and Aunt Margaret go down to the police station to an identity parade. But Nicky also manages to see the line-up and that's them. But when his Dad knowingly doesn't identify them, well something is definitely wrong in Suburbicon.

And then Nicky witnesses something very odd in the cellar, played out with a table tennis bat. Best just switch the light off and pretend everything's okay in Suburbicon. Although sweet Uncle Mitch, played by Gary Basaraba, is suspicious that something odd is going on with his sister Margaret and Gardner. And that poor boy who is like a son to him.

Across the road the Mayers house is now surrounded by the good people of Surburbicon, making a darn racket night and day. Mr and Mrs Mayers are still trying to go about their business. But we see Mrs Mayers priced out of a supermarket by the petty owner, and cashier Aunt Margaret.

And then Gardner is paid a visit by the two goons. Was he involved with the Mob the police chief had previously asked him. He's definitely involved in something.

And then into this pastoral idyll wanders Oscar Isaac from the insurance company. Come to settle the claim for Rose. Behind this pretty picket fence is as black a comedy as the black horror being carried out next door at the Mayers.

There will be blood spilled tonight in Suburbiton. And all washed down with a glass of milk and a peanut and jelly sandwich. From a script written by The Coen Brothers is an original film that will leave a very bitter aftertaste.


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