Fans of the Coens have a reason to cheer because this film looks so damn fun.
The trailer for the highly-anticipated Suburbicon just dropped and it’s jam-packed with action and comedy gems. It’s fresh and punchy (literally and figuratively), and filled with familiar, ultra-talented faces.
We’re taken back to 1959 to the suburbs of idyllic Americana – a place “built with the promise of prosperity for all”. Gardner Lodge’s (Damon) life is turned upside down when his family is drawn into the criminal underbelly of his sleepy, safe town. Everything goes downhill from here as Lodge reveals a more vicious, violent side. “I have to make decisions like what’s best for the family,” he menacingly murmurs, face battered and glasses snapped at the bridge. Of course, something tells us that isn’t a good enough reason.
Director George Clooney not only reunites with Joel and Ethan Coen but also long-time collaborator, Matt Damon. Damon plays an extremely straight-laced family man turned enactor of justice. Julianne Moore’s get-up is garishly blonde and pink. And as if things don’t look absurd enough, Oscar Isaac comes in towards the end as your staple mobster, ensuring a slew of tropes that we’re hoping will be unpacked throughout the film.
The juxtaposition between the “safety” of suburbia and the feverishly intense violence portrayed in the trailer gives us a taste of what’s to come. Perhaps even a little too much. The trailer seems to go through the main beats of most of the story. Yet, we’ll try to have a little faith in the Coens. They have consistently transformed the mundane into intriguing and lasting images throughout their expansive career.
But the Coens are not the ones directing the film. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is also new territory for Clooney, whose forays into directing have been generally milder and more generic than what’s depicted here. There’s an insistence that the Suburbicon team wanted to “make something a little less funny and a lot angrier.” Clooney usually directs from his own scripts, but he’s dealt with a Kaufman script in the past (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind). Suburbicon looks like it will be Clooney’s return to those auteur roots, except it’s kicked up several notches on the action scale.
Moreover, Clooney reportedly adopted some of the Coens’ directorial ethics while working on the film as well. Judging by the trailer, there is hope that the influence is as symbiotic as he’s promising, and the writing translates effortlessly.