With Suburbicon, director (he’s also acted in a few obscure movies) George Clooney has taken the remnants of a discarded Coen brothers script (the duo behind such classics as Fargo and The Big Lebowski), and brought it kicking and screaming onto the big screen with a few political spices of his own thrown into the mix. What we get is yet another lesson in why the Coen brothers don’t direct everything they write. Did you ever see Gambit?
Suburbicon falls into the category of Coen Brothers films which involve plans going terribly, terribly wrong to comedic effect, which is most of them really, but think Fargo without the snow in this instance. Suburbicon is about one of those idealised 50’s American towns used in postwar propaganda, a place in which every resident is prim and proper, wearing smiles as they go about their wonderful daily business, before going home to their loving nuclear family. Only this time we see the nuclear family has imploded.
Suburbicon deals with a robbery gone wrong, and the spiralling madness that seeps from it. A funny streak of violence and murder isn’t enough when everything in between feels so off, so obvious, so oblivious to the magic sickness that prevails with a Coen made production. This is merely a bootleg, another monumental (men) miss for Clooney.
There is also a sub plot involving an African-American family moving in next door and the town going nuts about it. That’s pretty much it for that one though…