FEA­TURE FILM

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film - Clooney Matt Da­mon, Ju­lianne Moore, Os­car Isaac Wright Ge­orge Ju­lian Now

SUBUR­BICON (MA) ★★★

Di­rected by:

Star­ring: Re­view by: In cin­e­mas: NOT ev­ery­thing is as it seems in the pic­ture-per­fect 1950s sub­ur­bia.

The im­mac­u­late Lodge fam­ily home is in­vaded by a group of crim­i­nals and the wheel­chair-bound ma­tri­arch (Ju­lianne Moore) is mur­dered.

The in­ci­dent rocks the cookie cut­ter, white picket fence sub­urb, but also co­in­cides with the ar­rival of the first African-amer­i­can fam­ily.

The riot-prone white lo­cals are con­vinced that both events are in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked.

Mean­while, in­sur­ance in­ves­ti­ga­tor (Os­car Isaac) be­gins to sus­pect that Gard­ner Lodge (Matt Da­mon) and his wife’s twin sis­ter Mar­garet (Ju­lianne Moore) plot­ted the mur­der for the in­sur­ance pay­out and plan to run off to­gether.

Switch out a kid­nap­ping for a mur­der, ran­som for in­sur­ance and snowy lo­ca­tions for sunny sub­ur­bia and this plays out like a re-dressed Fargo.

There’s also the cash strapped, nerdy-look­ing hus­band and bouts of graphic violence played out for laughs.

Subur­bicon cer­tainly shares sim­i­lar DNA to the 1996 clas­sic, be­ing that it is co-writ­ten by the same blokes Joel and Ethan Coen, who revel in or­di­nary peo­ple do­ing bad things and get­ting their come­up­pance.

Ge­orge Clooney taps into his best Coen im­pres­sion be­hind the cam­era; Subur­bicon is com­pe­tently filmed and the story well-de­liv­ered, the cast also ser­vice­able.

How­ever, there is that sense of deja vu that is un­shak­able.

The race-re­lated sub­plot also seems out of place.

You get what that part of the story rep­re­sents – whites are rub­bish peo­ple and hyp­o­crit­i­cal trash – but feels like it has been spliced in from a com­pletely dif­fer­ent film.

Clooney can’t quite mesh it in suc­cess­fully with the mur­der plot/in­sur­ance scam part of the film.

Per­haps a Fargo re­watch may be in or­der.

Ju­lianne Moore and Matt Da­mon in Subur­bicon.

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