George Clooney used to be one of the biggest stars in the world.
Since retiring from acting, he’s now focused exclusively on directing.
But his latest film is an enormous misfire.
The A-lister actor recently said that President Trump and his “angry” campaign speeches were the inspiration for his newest directorial outing, Suburbicon.
Clooney told reporters in Venice, Italy,
“The genesis of the screenplay [came when] I was watching a lot of [Trump] speeches on the campaign trail about building fences and scapegoating minorities.
I started looking around at other times in our history when we’ve unfortunately fallen back into these things, and I found this story that happened in Levittown, Pennsylvania.”
And that’s a true story.
In the 1950’s, a black family moved into an all-white community where they were met with racist backlash, and instead of moving out, they decided to bunker down and stay.
How this is inspired by Trump is anybody’s guess.
And although Clooney has directed some fine films like Good Night, And Good Luck, his newest venture is a complete disaster.
The Wrap gives their review:
“Clooney’s directorial legacy won’t get any help from “Suburbicon,” a garish and overblown crime melodrama that combines clumsy noir with lame jabs at 1950s suburban conformity and racism, two subjects whose satirical sell-by date are now decades past. (Is racism in the United States as toxic as ever? Absolutely. Is pointing out the existence of racism in the gleaming Eisenhower era the stuff of dramatic counterpoint or groundbreaking observation? Nope.)
Written by Joel and Ethan Coen and Clooney and Grant Heslov, the film veers back and forth between the obvious and the ridiculous.
In the quaint mid-century planned community Suburbicon, the white residents have a collective meltdown when the first black family moves into the house next door to the Lodges. But the Lodges have problems of their own: Home intruders show up in the middle of the night, tying up Gardner (Matt Damon), his wheelchair-bound wife Rose (Julianne Moore), their young son Nicky (Noah Jupe, “The Night Manager”) and Rose’s sister Maggie (also Moore — shades of her early work as twins on “As the World Turns”).
The robbers chloroform the family, but they go heavy enough on it for Rose that she winds up dying. Maggie sticks around to help out with Nicky, but the kid grows suspicious when the robbers turn up in a police lineup and Gardner and Maggie pretend not to recognize them.
Gardner and Maggie, it turns out, have clumsily killed Rose for the insurance money, but loan sharks want it — assuming that there’s even a payout, since claims investigator Roger (Oscar Isaac) smells a big, fat rat.
There are plenty of ways that “Suburbicon” could have gone to have fun with this premise, but it chooses none of them — or, rather, it chooses all of them simultaneously and the mix never works. If the movie is intended to be a black comedy about an incompetent crime, then the ugly scenes of racism don’t fit.
If it’s supposed to be a nightmarish tale of a child who knows something terrible but has no one who will believe him — think “The Fallen Idol” or “Parents” — Gardner’s crime is so sloppy and so quick to fall apart that the movie never builds upon the kind of tension necessary to tell that story.
And if it’s supposed to be a will-they-get-away-with-it crime drama, that evaporates once people get fireplace-pokered to death in the middle of the street and fire trucks start exploding.
It’s all too much in too many directions, and the result is a mess, albeit an exquisitely art-directed one.
The name actors here commit themselves to their roles, despite the fact they all seem to be in different movies. (There is a nice bit of cat-and-mouse between Roger and Maggie, as he gets her to say more than she should about her poor sister’s “accident.”) Top honors go to young Jupe, who faces tragedy and terror, registering it all in his very expressive eyes.”
You can bet that these so-called anti-Trump films will become a dime a dozen—and we’re only 9 months into his presidency.
So brace yourselves.