Movie Review: Suburbicon is relevant, yet dated
George Clooney has worked with the Coen brothers several times (O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Intolerable Cruelty, Burn After Reading) to much success.
Oscar-winning film-makers Joel and Ethan Coen reportedly wrote Suburbicon in 1986, and Clooney and his frequent collaborator Grant Heslov made changes to it much later.
And perhaps that is where the movie's problem lies.
This dark comedy positions itself as a racial satire about integration and tolerance.
The issue may have some relevance in the current US political scene, but it somehow comes across as very dated.
Also, the murder mystery and family drama elements don't exactly gel.
There are some brilliant though fleeting moments, and the best performances are not from powerhouses Matt Damon and Julianne Moore.
Damon gets the job done as an everyday man, one who is hiding many secrets.
Moore is great in her dual role as wheelchair-bound Rose and Stepford wife wannabe Margaret, who is in love with her brother-in-law.
Oscar Isaac steals the thunder in his brief scenes as the insurance agent investigating Rose's death.
But it is young Noah Jube who shines as the terrorised and troubled Nicky.
Just like how the shine quickly wears off the polished, all-white community upon the arrival of a black family, Clooney's sixth directorial effort loses steam and focus as the plot gets more convoluted.
STARRING: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac, Noah Jupe
DIRECTOR: George Clooney
THE SKINNY: Suburbicon is an idyllic community of manicured lawns and pretty homes in the 1950s. The Lodges are living a blissful life until a home invasion leads to the death of mummy Rose (Moore), after which daddy Gardner (Damon) helps young son Nicky (Jupe) deal with the tragedy with the aid of Rose's twin sister Margaret (also Moore).