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Suburbicon Movie Review (Venice Film Festival 2017)


Suburbicon Movie Review (Venice Film Festival 2017)

Suburbicon Movie Review

Julianne Moore as Margaret and Matt Damon as Gardner in ‘Suburbicon,’ from Paramount Pictures and Black Bear Pictures.

Title: Suburbicon

Director: George Clooney

Cast: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac, Noah Jupe, Glenn Fleshler, Megan Ferguson, Jack Conley, Gary Basaraba and Michael D. Cohen.

The premises for ‘Suburbicon’s’ success were all there: directed and cowritten by Academy Award winner George Clooney and written by Academy Award winners Joel & Ethan Coen with Academy Award winner Grant Heslov. Also the setting and themes captivating bold enough to make the flick remarkable. But something went wrong.

We are in 1950s American suburb, in a town that aims to represent the epitome of the W.A.S.P. happy family. ‘The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet’  could have occurred in Suburbicon and yet along the way we shall see how the best and worst of humanity is reflected through the deeds of the inhabitants of this community. The main flaw of the film is the way it tackles racism. Once a black respectable family moves to town, the rest of the locals act worst than the Klu Klux Klan. There is no pathos, no crescendo, no motivation. What could have made a powerful statement on discriminatory racial policies comes across in a very clumsy way. Even more so when we observe how a white Episcopalian family is despicably false and evil.

The inciting incident is a home break-in and the death of a family member, which will reveal the vicious nature of some hapless characters who will make really bad decisions. Contrarily to Clooney’s previous films, you may feel the strong presence of the Coen Brothers in this film. Not only did they write the script, but the direction of the cast members seems to have been forged according to their bombastic humour. As a result, the talented Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac deliver a performance that is below their standards, to comply to the rattletrap crime comedy.

Technical: B

Acting: C+

Story: C-

Overall: C+

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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