Suburbicon is not equal to the sum of its parts, taking 2+2 and making an incredibly underwhelming oscar no-hoper
The most interesting factor relating to Suburbicon’s existence is how it manages to fit so many wonderful pieces into the seemingly correct holes, only for it to come out looking like a bland, uninteresting mess.
Young Nicky (Noah Jupe) wakes up in the night to discover strange men conversing with his parents. After the night’s events are over, Nicky’s life takes a strange turn with people he thought he knew treating him very differently to how they did before. The night was short, but its effect takes hold of more than just Nicky and his family.
Part of Suburbicon’s issue is that it plainly doesn’t make sense. In true Coen Brothers fashion, they’ve written a massively thematic piece that without their own, or someone else’s, exquisite direction, the film becomes overcomplicated and overdramatised. Clooney has interesting ideas, but he clearly isn’t fully formed as a director yet, and this does have a huge negative impact on the film. Then again, sometimes the Coen Brothers can’t even direct their own material.
This stems back to the film being filled with far too many good pieces for it to fail like it does. Oscar Isaac’s charmingly creepy Bud Cooper gives a huge highlight and Matt Damon pulls off an incredibly intriguing and overwhelming monologue which outplays almost the entire rest of the film, showing just how misshaped the picture is.
Suburbicon is the maker of its own downfall as none of its elements truly reach the heights they needed to in order to make a film of suburban plausibility. It is not equal to the sum of its parts, taking 2+2 and making an incredibly underwhelming oscar no-hoper.