Suburbicon (USA 2017)

This is the trailer for George Clooney’s latest directorial effort, Suburbicon:

Every single detail in this trailer takes place in the movie, yet the trailer is cut in such a way that the only honest thing about it is the hint of mafia involvement and suburban unrest. It is the most socially reprehensible movie I have ever seen, and as I’m wont to say, it ain’t even close. George Clooney should be ejected from the director’s guild over this trash.

Missing from the trailer is a nuclear black family – there is one clip in the trailer where you can see the wife/mother bending over a trashcan, but other than that, they are conspicuous in their absence from said trailer. To wit Suburbicon is about an “ideal” white suburb in the 1950s that sees a black family move in and the evil white people lose their minds. Their harassment begins by ominous men standing outside their house making noise, and then it grows to a crowd, then a mob – all the mayhem you see in the trailer owes to that one black family including a father, a mother and a little boy – doing nothing more than existing in the neighborhood. The family won’t take the bait and continue to peacefully exist among the growing chaos caused by said existence, the wife/mother at one point charged $20 for a carton of milk at the grocery store, and at another point a confederate flag is draped over a broken window of the family’s home, even though nothing in the film indicates that the setting is the South (the opening vignette informs us that people come from all over to live in Suburbicon, including New York, Ohio and Mississippi, the film so illiterate it doesn’t seem to know that New York and Ohio border each other). Oh, lest I forget, the whites on either side of the black family build a large fence to wall off their property, because you know what walls mean in 2017, or at least George Clooney assumes you’re hip to the semiotics.

This type of moral preening comes natural to Clooney, who in an Oscar acceptance famously extolled the virtues of Hollywood tackling issues that Americans were simply too cruel and stupid to address, his speech including a mention of Butterfly McQueen winning an Oscar for Gone with the Wind in 1939 but leaving out the fact that she was seated far, far away near a back wall and well-away from her fellow nominees.

Any-hew…

What is equally bizarre about this plot is that it is completely separate from the plot you see in the trailer: Matt Damon is into money for the mob (oh I’ll spoil it without warning), his wife is murdered, her twin sister takes her place and Damon continues to get himself in deeper and deeper until he attracts the notice of an insurance adjuster who can smell the fraud a mile away. You could take out every scene involving the black family and the white mob’s reaction to them, and you would have a B-tier Cohen Brothers film, because that’s what this is – material they created but chose not to pursue as a directorial team. That said, the larger point stands: the scenes with the black family could be completely cut from the movie and the movie would stand on its own; cut the mob/gambling primary plot and leave the black family plot, and you have a low-grade propaganda film with heavy Hollywood funding.

I long ago grew sick and tired of the White People are Evil meme, and Clooney’s ethno-self-hatred is on full-display here, curiously including a few nods to Jew-hatred for good measure (these moments truly come out of left-field and feel tacked-on). This is all the more strange when you consider contemporaneous Hollywood news and the particular “Anglo-ness” of Harvey Weinstein’s victims, and his profound, comical, dare-I-say stereotypical Jewishness (much has been written in Jewish publications about this very nasty aspect to Weinstein’s crimes, all of his known victims being Goys, none being not black or Asian or certainly most-definitely not Jewish, no Natalie Portmans or Scarlett Johannsons among the red-and-blonde-haired starlets). Yet, in the America of Suburbicon, there is nothing more evil than white people living in a neighborhood except the evil that will blossom if a non-white moves in. And they hate Jews.

Which leads us to the not-really-clever angle that Clooney chooses to beat his audience over the head with. As the white mob grows in number and in severity of action, side characters continue to tell anyone who will listen that “this used to be a good neighborhood until ‘they’ moved in,” they being the black family, literally the only thing separating them in appearance from the whites being the color of their skin; Clooney is inadvertently guilty of his own thoughtcrime and bias by portraying the ideal black family as a clone in dress, housing and consumer choices to the family’s white neighbor ie the ideal black person is just a white person with different skin color. It is also worth noting that Pleasantville did the same concept, only much, much better.

I return to where I started, the trailer. I saw this with a friend and we discussed its misleading nature, and we agreed that the reason they didn’t include the black family subplot was because they knew most Americans of all hues who would be interested enough to see the film advertised wouldn’t waste their money doing so, instead seeing it as the hokey horseshit it is.

It’s been darkly fun watching men whose careers were made in large part due to early breaks they got from Weinstein when he and his brother turned Miramax into a producer of cutting-edge America cinema and who have been reliably limousine liberal for the last 25 years suddenly find themselves being asked what they knew about the sexual predator and exploiter of women who was their buddy for so long. “Oh no, I didn’t know anything about that,” they say, and we all know they’re lying because I’ve heard the stories and I live in B-F-E. They continue their multi-million-dollar-budgeted virtue-signaling while turning a blind eye to less powerful figures all around them getting exploited by the uber-powerful. It’s A-OK to wanna free Tibet so long as you can turn a blind eye to a few rape victims.

Absent the nascent sarcasm, I was irate within two minutes of the film beginning, and I stayed that way the entire film – I haven’t hate-watched a movie this intensely since Avatar, and unlike the blue pinkos, I was sober for this cinematic obscenity. Clooney has always had a fairly open desperation to latch onto struggles he did not take part in – Good Night and Good Luck, ostensibly about Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare etc but with historical falsehoods that boggle the learned mind, was Clooney cue-ing in fellow liberals that he would have been down for the struggle were he was waxing his hair with Dapper Dan before going on air.

The act has gotten old. Clooney is as charming as they come as an actor and I’ve enjoyed a great many films he’s starred in and he’s able as a director. But his craven need to re-jigger history to suit his narrative is old, and considering that only about a dozen of us saw his film over the weekend, I’m clearly not the only one tired of it.

Creede Kurtz

I write about the movies I see and a few other things.
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