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Blu-ray Review: Suburbicon

February 14, 2018

By John Corrado

Directed by George Clooney, working from a decades old script by Joel and Ethan Coen, Suburbicon takes place in a seemingly idyllic 1950s community made up of white families and cookie cutter houses, that is rocked not only by a brutal invasion at the home of Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon), but also by the arrival of the neighbourhood’s first black family.

Like many critics, I had a lot of problems with Suburbicon, starting with the fact that it feels like two different movies that never really come together.  The film as a whole is kind of a hot mess, but it has some moments, and is somewhat of an interesting misfire that is mildly worth a look for curious viewers, if only to try and parse out what went wrong.  You can read my full review of the film right here.

The Blu-ray also includes a commentary track with George Clooney and co-writer/producer Grant Heslov, as well as three featurettes.  Welcome to Suburbicon is a half-hour piece that covers a wide range of topics, not only discussing the film’s 1950s production design and tricky tonal balance, but also the real life inspiration behind the story and how they wove in actual archival footage of white residents reacting adversely to their neighbourhood becoming integrated from the documentary Crisis in Levittown; The Unusual Suspects: Casting focuses on the film’s all-star cast; and Scoring Suburbicon features composer Alexandre Desplat discussing his music for the film.

These featurettes – especially the first one – offer an interesting look at how the film came together, shedding some more light on the production and why George Clooney chose to tell this story.  They actually made me wish that the film itself had been better.  So if you do watch Suburbicon, it’s worth sticking around for the bonus features afterwards.

Suburbicon is an Elevation Pictures release.  It’s 105 minutes and rated 14A.

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