Suburbicon

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Suburbicon
Suburbicon.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGeorge Clooney
Written by
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyRobert Elswit
Edited byStephen Mirrione
Music byAlexandre Desplat
Production
companies
Distributed by
  • Paramount Pictures (North America)
  • Bloom (International)[3]
Release dates
  • September 2, 2017 (2017-09-02) (Venice)
  • October 27, 2017 (2017-10-27) (United States)
Running time
105 minutes[4]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$25 million[5]
Box office$12.8 million[6][7]

Suburbicon is a 2017 American black comedy crime film[8] directed by George Clooney and co-written by the Coen brothers, Clooney, and Grant Heslov.[9] It stars Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Noah Jupe, and Oscar Isaac, and follows a mild-mannered father in 1959 who must face his demons after a home invasion, all while a black family moves into the all-white neighborhood. The black family storyline is loosely based on a 1957 incident in Levittown, Pennsylvania, in which a black family moved into the previously all-white neighborhood, leading to racism and violence against the family.[10][11]

Principal photography for the film began in October 2016 in Los Angeles. It premiered in the main competition section of the 74th Venice International Film Festival on September 2, 2017,[12] and then was screened at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival before being theatrically released in the United States on October 27, 2017.[13] The film received negative reviews from critics and was a box-office bomb, earning $12 million against its $25 million budget.[14]

Plot[edit]

In the late spring of 1959, the peaceful, all-white neighborhood of Suburbicon is shaken by the arrival of the African-American Mayers family.

Gardner Lodge, a seemingly mild-mannered family man, lives in Suburbicon with his paraplegic wife, Rose, and their son, Nicky. One night when Rose's identical twin sister, Margaret, is staying over, two robbers, Sloan and Louis, break into his house, tie the whole family up, and knock them out with chloroform. Rose receives an overdose and never regains consciousness. After the funeral, Margaret moves in to help take care of Nicky and soon begins to transform herself into Rose, dyeing her hair blonde and having sex with Gardner.

The Lodges are called to the police station to identify Sloan and Louis, but both Gardner and Margaret say the police have the wrong men, even though Nicky recognizes them as his mother's murderers. Soon after this, Sloan and Louis show up at Gardner's job and demand the money he owes them as payment for killing Rose. When Gardner refuses to pay, they make plans to kill Nicky and Margaret.

With tensions mounting between the residents of Suburbicon and their new African-American neighbors the Mayers, charismatic insurance agent Bud Cooper arrives on the Lodge's doorstep one day when Gardner is not home and begins to question Margaret. He initially says he is simply looking to clear up red flags in a life insurance claim Gardner made on Rose, but eventually admits to Margaret that he suspects her and Gardner of murdering Rose to collect on the policy, at which point Margaret kicks him out of the house.

That night, as the protracted protest at the Mayers' home turns into a riot, Cooper returns to talk with Gardner. He tells Gardner that he knows the nature of his and Margaret's insurance-fraud plan and attempts to blackmail them into giving him their entire payout in exchange for his silence. Margaret poisons his coffee with lye, and Gardner bashes his head in with a fireplace poker to finish him off. Gardner leaves to hide the body, trailed by Sloan.

Margaret attempts to kill Nicky with a poisoned sandwich and milk after she catches him calling his Uncle Mitch for help, but he refuses to leave his room. Louis enters and strangles Margaret to death. He heads upstairs to murder Nicky, but Mitch arrives just in time and shoots Louis dead. Mitch gives Nicky his gun and hides the boy in a closet before succumbing to a stab wound inflicted by Louis.

On the way home from disposing of Cooper's body, Gardner is taunted by Sloan, who is suddenly hit and killed by a fire truck that was speeding to a fire started by the rioters at the Mayers' home. At his own house, he discovers the bodies of Margaret, Mitch, and Louis, and finds Nicky in the closet. Gardner offers Nicky a choice: to go along with his plan to take the insurance money and run away to Aruba, or die, with Gardner claiming his son was yet another of Louis' victims.

The next morning, Gardner is dead, having consumed the poisoned sandwich and milk during his conversation with Nicky. Nicky calmly goes outside to play ball with Andy, the young son of the Mayer whom he has befriended, while his parents and a few members of the community clean up the mess left in the wake of the riot.

Cast[edit]

Development[edit]

According to executive producer Joel Silver, Joel and Ethan Coen originally wrote the script for Suburbicon in 1986, soon after the release of their film Blood Simple.[15] In 2005, it was reported that George Clooney would star in and direct Suburbicon, while the Coen brothers would produce.[16]

The film was eventually made ten years later, combining two previously unrelated scripts,[11] one the crime film by the Coens, and the other a historical drama by Clooney and Grant Heslov based on the real-life story of the Myers family, the only black family in all-white Levittown, Pennsylvania, who faced racially-charged harassment and violence from other residents.[10] On December 8, 2015, Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Josh Brolin joined the cast;[17] Oscar Isaac and Woody Harrelson later signed on, as well.[18] On August 31, 2016, Noah Jupe and Glenn Fleshler joined, to play Damon's character's son and a hitman, respectively.[19]

On September 27, 2016, Harrelson said in an interview that he would not be in the film due to scheduling conflicts.[20] In August 2017, it was reported that Brolin had been cut from the final edit of the film.[21]

Suburbicon began filming in Fullerton, California, 30 miles (48 km) south of Los Angeles, in October 2016.[22] Alexandre Desplat composed the film's score.[23]

Release[edit]

Paramount Pictures released the film in the United States on October 27, 2017.[24]

Home media[edit]

Suburbicon was released on Digital HD on January 23, 2018, and on Blu-ray and DVD on February 6.[25]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Suburbicon grossed $5.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $4.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $10.2 million, against a production budget of $25 million.[6]

In the United States and Canada, Suburbicon was released alongside Thank You for Your Service and Jigsaw, and was projected to gross around $8 million from 2,046 theaters in its opening weekend.[26] However, after making $1.1 million on its first day, weekend estimates were lowered to $3 million. It ended up debuting to $2.8 million, finishing 9th at the box office. The weekend marked the lowest wide opening for any of Clooney's directorial efforts, and of Matt Damon's career, and the 32nd worst-ever opening for a film playing in over 2,000 theaters.[27] Box-office receipts for the film dropped 59% (to $1.2 million) in its second weekend, when it finished 13th at the box office.[28]

Critical response[edit]

On review-aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 28% based on 250 reviews, with an average rating of 4.94/10; the site's critical consensus reads: "A disappointing misfire for director George Clooney, Suburbicon attempts to juggle social satire, racial commentary, and murder mystery — and ends up making a mess of all three."[29] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 42 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[30] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "D−" on an A+ to F scale.[27]

David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "Suburbicon is just too obvious in its satirical depiction of the dubious morality and social inequality behind the squeaky-clean façade of postwar American life, though it's watchable enough, and a distinct improvement for Clooney on his last directorial outing."[31]

Accolades[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result Ref.
London Film Critics Circle January 28, 2018 Young British/Irish Performer of the Year Noah Jupe (also for Wonder and The Man with the Iron Heart) Nominated [32]
San Diego Film Critics Society December 11, 2017 Best Supporting Actor Oscar Isaac Nominated [33]
Venice Film Festival September 9, 2017 Golden Lion George Clooney Nominated [34][35][36]
Green Drop Award George Clooney Nominated
Fondazione Mimmo Rotella Award George Clooney Won
Fragiacomo Award George Clooney Won
Franca Sozzani Award Julianne Moore Won
Saturn Awards June 27, 2018 Best Thriller Film Suburbicon Nominated [37]
39th Young Artist Awards July 14, 2018 Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Teen Actor Noah Jupe Nominated

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Film releases". Variety Insight. Archived from the original on July 28, 2017. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  2. ^ THR Staff (September 2, 2017). "'Suburbicon': Film Review | Venice 2017". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  3. ^ Halligan, Fionnuala (September 2, 2017). "'Suburbicon': Venice Review". Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  4. ^ "Suburbicon". tiff. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  5. ^ "Box Office: 'Jigsaw' to Piece Together $20 Million Opening". Variety. October 25, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Suburbicon (2017)". The Numbers. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  7. ^ "Suburbicon (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  8. ^ Nugent, John (May 18, 2016). "Woody Harrelson joins the cast of George Clooney's Suburbicon". Empire. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  9. ^ 'Suburbicon' Review: A Rare Miss For Clooney, Damon, and the Coens|Digital Trends
  10. ^ a b "The Real-Life Racial Battle That Inspired George Clooney's 'Suburbicon'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Longsdorf, Amy. "George Clooney's 'Suburbicon' tells racially charged story of Bucks County's Levittown". The Morning Call. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  12. ^ Anderson, Ariston (July 27, 2017). "Venice Competition Includes Films From George Clooney, Guillermo del Toro, Darren Aronofsky". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (July 25, 2017). "Toronto Film Festival 2017 Unveils Strong Slate". Deadline. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  14. ^ Giles, Jeff (October 26, 2017). "Suburbicon is a Stale Satire". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  15. ^ Radish, Christina (May 20, 2016). "Producer Joel Silver on 'The Nice Guys', 'Sherlock Holmes 3′, and Joss Whedon's 'Wonder Woman'". Collider. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  16. ^ "George Clooney Back With Coen Brothers". Empire. November 22, 2005. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  17. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (December 8, 2015). "Matt Damon, Julianne Moore And Josh Brolin To Star In George Clooney's Coens-Penned 'Suburbicon'". IndieWire. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  18. ^ Slead, Evan (May 17, 2016). "Woody Harrelson to star in George Clooney's Suburbicon". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  19. ^ Borys, Kit (August 31, 2016). "George Clooney's 'Suburbicon' Adds 'Night Manager,' 'Night Of' Actors (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  20. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (September 27, 2016). "Woody Harrelson on 'LBJ', Trump and Spandex". Screen Daily. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  21. ^ Collis, Clark (August 14, 2017). "Josh Brolin was cut from final version of Suburbicon". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  22. ^ Whitehead, Brian (October 26, 2016). "Earlier this month, George Clooney found the quiet family town of Suburbicon in Fullerton". Orange County Register. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  23. ^ "Alexandre Desplat to Score George Clooney's 'Suburbicon'". FilmMusicReporter. March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  24. ^ Gettell, Oliver (March 27, 2017). "George Clooney's Suburbicon sets award season release date". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  25. ^ "Suburbicon (2017)". DVDs Release Date. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  26. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 25, 2017). "Jigsaw' Looks To Keep 'Saw' Franchise Sharp During Pre-Halloween Weekend With $20M+ Opening". Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  27. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 29, 2017). "Horror Has Few Scares At B.O. As 'Jigsaw' Dulls To $16M+, 'Suburbicon' Condemned With D- CinemaScore". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  28. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony. "'Thor: Ragnarok' Flexes His Box Office Muscles To $120M-$122M Opening – Early Sunday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  29. ^ "Suburbicon (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  30. ^ "Suburbicon reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  31. ^ David Rooney (September 3, 2017). "'Suburbicon': Film Review | Venice 2017 | Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter.
  32. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (January 28, 2018). "'Three Billboards' Wins Film Of The Year At London Critics' Circle Awards". Deadline. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  33. ^ "2017 San Diego Film Critics Society's Award Nominations". San Diego Film Critics Society. December 9, 2017. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  34. ^ "Venezia 74, i premi collaterali". Repubblica. September 8, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  35. ^ "A Venezia il Green Drop Award al film più ecologista". ANSA. September 7, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  36. ^ "Queer Lion a Venezia: 9 film in gara per il Leone Gay". Nonsolo Cinema. August 22, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  37. ^ McNary, Dave (March 15, 2018). "'Black Panther,' 'Walking Dead' Rule Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Archived from the original on March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  38. ^ "2018 NOMINEES Young Artist Awards". youngartistawards.org. Retrieved May 17, 2018.

External links[edit]