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Movie Review: 'Suburbicon' No American Dream

by Todd A. Smith

 

A suburban community goes from the American dream to the American nightmare in the film “Suburbicon.”


 

There Goes the Neighborhood 

 

 1/2


The fictional town of Suburbicon represented the suburban American dream during the 1950s and 1960s.


Nice and neat manicured lawns.


The town of 60,000 people consisted of pleasant families where everyone knew everyone else.


Crime virtually did not exist in Suburbicon.


The advertisements for the town even boasted of its diversity even though every family featured in the ad was White.


Nevertheless, it was the American dream and the town was as innocent and pure as White snow, until “the coloreds” moved in.


When the Meyers family, an affluent Black family, moves into Suburbicon turmoil erupts when the pleasant White families suddenly turned into angry White mobs.


After Nicky (Noah Jupe) plays baseball with Andy (Tony Espinosa) the only Black child in the neighborhood, the neighborhood begins looking at his entire family suspiciously.


Those looks become a little more sinister when two angry men break into the family’s home late one night, robs them and assaults the entire family.


While Nicky, along with his father Gardner (Matt Damon) and aunt (Julianne Moore) survive the assault; Nicky’s mother dies from her injuries.


However, the reason behind the burglary and assault may not be what it appears to be and the family bond might not be as strong as it seems on the outside looking in.


Damon’s latest film “Suburbicon” is definitely different.


The film directed by George Clooney is not a typical gangster film.


The film is not a typical family movie.


The film is not a typical comedy.


But the film is a dark comedy, which is definitely dark with a couple of funny and outrageous moments.


On the positive side, “Suburbicon” could be a referendum on race relations in many suburban neighborhoods.


Often when African-Americans move into predominantly White neighborhoods, many think the neighborhood will deteriorate because of those African-Americans.


But “Suburbicon” shows that sometimes African-Americans are the model neighbors and their White counterparts could be the problem.


Additionally, the Clooney directed film perfectly captures the vibe of the 1950s and 1960s with the classic cars and the modest but comfortable single-family homes of the day.


Furthermore, while Damon is the big Academy Award winning name (“Good Will Hunting”), the stars of the film are the young and innocent Jupe and Espinosa.


While the adults are corrupt and bigoted, the young children are pure and naïve, only wanting to see the good in people even if it puts their lives in peril.


But the precious performances by the youngsters cannot make up for “Suburbicon” being corny and at times wack.


Even the score in “Suburbicon” is wack and a little bit much.


The world knows Clooney is a great actor, but as a director his movies have not equaled those he’s just acted in with the exception of “The Ides of March.”


Furthermore, this film is a slight speed bump in the illustrious acting career of Damon, which also hit the same speed bump earlier this year with “The Great Wall.”


Hopefully, Damon can get back to form with his return to a popular franchise in “Ocean’s Eight” in 2018.

 

Damon and Clooney’s monumental Hollywood careers epitomize the American dream, but as shown in “Suburbicon” the American dream can become a nightmare when the façade is removed.



REGAL RATINGS

FOUR CROWNS=EXCELLENT

THREE CROWNS=GOOD

TWO CROWNS=AVERAGE

ONE CROWN=POOR


This article was published on Friday 27 October, 2017.
Current Comments: 0
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