Connect with us
Clooney dissects the notion of idealized suburban life.


TIFF 2017: ‘Suburbicon’ Looks At The Great American Community

Clooney dissects the notion of idealized suburban life.

The current president’s “Make America Great Again” movement won over voters by tapping into their yearnings for the past. There’s a swath of American’s clinging to a romanticized image of a country that never really existed. In this golden era, dad worked at the factory, mom stayed home with the kids, and everybody on the block knew their neighbours’ names — and if these communities happened to be all white, well then, so be it. Armed with a Coen brothers script, director George Clooney grinds these notions into dust. His latest film, Suburbicon, looks at the great American community, and the rot festering inches below its “idyllic” surface.


Suburbicon isn’t shy about showing its influences. The film comes off like Billy Wilder’s 1944 noir classic, Double Indemnity, tacked on to a Leave it to Beaver episode. Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon), Margaret (Julianne Moore), and their son Nicky (Noah Jupe) are a happy family living in white picket paradise. In their isolated community, the grass is always green, the birds always sing, and the neighbours are always white — until they aren’t. When a black family moves in next door ,their community descends into chaos. As outrage centres on the new neighbours, criminals invade Gardner’s home, setting off a Coen-esque series of events. To say any more would be to spoil Suburbicon‘s many twists and turns.

Clooney effectively blends 50’s era whimsy with coal-black comedy beats and noir thrills, all while satirizing 2017’s political landscape. He pulls solid performances from his entire cast but Oscar Isaac is operating on a level above everybody else. With a great cast, gratifying plot, and timely themes, Suburbicon makes for an enjoyable watch, and one of the better films in Clooney’s oeuvre.

The 42nd annual Toronto International Film Festival is held from 7 to 17 September 2017.

Written By

Victor Stiff is a Toronto-based pop culture writer and film critic who enjoys covering the city's biggest (and nerdiest) events. Victor has covered TIFF, Hot Docs, Toronto After Dark, Toronto ComiCon, and Fan Expo Canada for publications all over the internet. You can find his latest posts on Twitter and Instagram.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



2001: A Space Odyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: Clarke and Kubrick’s Odyssey of Discovery


Deep Impact was a serious look at the end of the world Deep Impact was a serious look at the end of the world

25 Years Later: Deep Impact was a Serious Look at the End of the World 


The Best Movies of 1973 The Best Movies of 1973

The Golden Year of Movies: 1973


The Zone of Interest The Zone of Interest

Cannes 2023: Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest is a Manicured Vision of Hell


Jeanne Du Barry review Jeanne Du Barry review

Cannes 2023: Maïwenn’s Great Hair Goes to Great Lengths in Jeanne Du Barry


Black Flies Gripping Black Flies Gripping

Cannes 2023: Black Flies— Gripping Descent into the Underbelly of New York’s Urban Misery 


Asteroid City: A Gimmicky Vanity Project Asteroid City: A Gimmicky Vanity Project

Cannes 2023: Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City is a Gimmicky Vanity Project


La Passion de Dodin Bouffant: La Passion de Dodin Bouffant:

La Passion de Dodin Bouffant: Surfeit Cooking Drama Most Inane Film at Cannes


BlackBerry movie review BlackBerry movie review

BlackBerry Is a Wonderfully Canadian Account of a Dying Tech Dream


Four Daughters Four Daughters

Cannes 2023: Four Daughters: A Family’s Journey From Goth to Niqab


The Mother Jennifer Lopez and Lucy Paez The Mother Jennifer Lopez and Lucy Paez

Jennifer Lopez’s The Mother is Eerily Similar to Enough, But That’s Not a Bad Thing


Godzilla 1998 Godzilla 1998

Godzilla at 25: When Hollywood Made a Manhattan Monster Movie, with Disastrous Results


10 Best SummerSlam Matches 10 Best SummerSlam Matches

10 Best SummerSlam Matches


The Matrix Reloaded The Matrix Reloaded

20 Years Later: The Matrix Reloaded was Underwhelming, but Still Underrated


Discovery channel Discovery channel

The Head-Scratching Moves Discovery Has Been Making


Sean Connery Sean Connery

60 Years Later, Dr. No Remains the Paragon of Bond