A group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they've left the battlefield.
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
In the bosom of Suburbicon, a family-centred, all-white utopia of manicured lawns and friendly locals, a simmering tension is brewing, as the first African-American family moves in the idyllic community, in the hot summer of 1959. However, as the patriarch Gardner Lodge and his family start catching a few disturbing glimpses of the once welcoming neighbourhood's dark underbelly, acts of unprecedented violence paired with a gruesome death will inevitably blemish Suburbicon's picture-perfect facade. Who would have thought that darkness resides even in Paradise? Written by
Writers and Producers The Coen Brothers wisely allow George Clooney to take directorial blame in this insipid "satire?" but their fingerprints are all over it from the sets (A Serious Man, The Hudsucker Proxy) to kitsch (Lebowski) to harebrained conniving lead (Fargo) found in Gardner Lodge vapidly played by Matt Damon. With an army of abrasive caricatures and stereotypes the boys take their sardonic style to the burbs and bomb big-time in the most blatant demeaning of a race in a major film since Birth of a Nation.
Suburbicon is a lily white community where minor exec Gardner is living the American Dream but wants more by way of scamming the insurance company including a recent attempt to off his wife in an automobile accident. The second time he succeeds when he stages a home invasion but matters get botched and bodies begin to pile up. While this is happening an unwelcome black family is at first picketed then put under siege.
As a director Clooney has a dreary filmography featuring major disasters (Leatherheads, The Monuments Men) and timid insinuation ( Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Ides of March) but here he surpasses himself with an outright slandering of a race in a rather less than subtle expressionistic expose of white suburban hypocrisy teeming with greed and racism.
It certainly is a damning indictment of white society with its montage of well fed flabby faced condescending caricatures to go along with out of control crew cut pick-up driving red necks picketing the black family's home which eventually explodes into full scale riot.
What compelled Clooney and the Coen's to make this quirky dark comedy lecturing white America and shaming it's recent ancestors and less than slyly (neighbors begin to build fences, pesky Stars&Bars are displayed) condemn them for their actions now is not exactly a sound marketing campaign. As a crafted film it is a sloppy, heavy handed self hating piece of astonishing hubris; the work as a whole an unintentional self parody of the film's creators.
More than likely based upon the Levittown Riots of 1957, a suburban community begun by William Levitt that blatantly refused in its contracts to sell to Blacks. The first Black family to move in brought the wrath of much of the community down upon them but they also had significant defenders within that community. The film ignores this by tarring with a broad brush that is not only dishonest but clumsily and venally applied in order to fit the patronizing filmmakers agenda. It is PC run amok made by tone deaf elitists living in ivory towers.
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