What it's about:
Suburbicon is a peaceful, idyllic suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns—the perfect place to raise a family, and, in the summer of 1959, the Lodge family is doing just that. But the tranquil surface masks a disturbing reality, as husband and father Gardner Lodge must navigate the town’s dark underbelly of betrayal, deceit, and violence.
What we thought:
Things aren’t always as perfect they seem. We know this all too well in the age of Instagram – where filters can magically hide a very different reality.
Back in 1950s things weren’t that much different. Fake smiles hid dark secrets and disturbing truths – be it murder and deceit or racial violence.
Suburbicon is one of those “idyllic” communities with manicured lawns and pretty houses. On the surface it seems like a nice place to live – until its disgusting underbelly is exposed and hacked open.
The film centres on two families who live right next to each other. The Lodge family and their new African-American neighbours, the Mayers.
Whilst the lily-white town is in uproar over the arrival of a black family in the neighbourhood, the cameras are mostly focused on the Lodges.
Behind their closed doors they hide some pretty messed up stuff – but somehow it goes undetected, because the community is literally gathering outside the Mayers’ house to try and drive them out.
It might be set in the 50s, but this type of racism is still very much prevalent today. It’s clear that George Clooney, who directed the film, wanted to hold a mirror up to Americans in an effort to show them the truth of their own hypocrisy.
But sadly this fails miserably – mostly because the Mayers family are just used as pawns with very little character development or dialogue.
Whilst the Lodge family’s story gets dissected to the bone, the Mayers disappear behind the barricades being erected around their house by racist idiots trying to keep them isolated.
As the Lodge family’s secrets bleed into the streets of Suburbicon, so the Mayers family retreat into their home.
In the era of Trump, Suburbicon doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Whilst America tries really hard to keep its “white picket fence” façade alive, it’s actually slowly sinking into a pit of its own twisted issues. This is perhaps the most prevalent theme running throughout the film.
The A-list cast deliver powerful performances with Julianne Moore, as both Rose and Margaret, and Oscar Isaac, as Roger, being two real standouts. The film starts out all sunshine and roses before sliding into a pit of hell. It will leave you uncomfortable and with a lot of questions – which is a good thing.