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Suburbicon

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Starring Matt Damon and Julianne Moore The film is set in the 1950s and based on a true story about a development called Levittown in New York.

Levittown was the name given to a series of housing developments across America. There were seven in number, established after World War II. They were intended to provide low-cost housing for veterans and their families: Levittown, Pennsylvania, the second development, was built in 1952.

With the name changed to Suburbicon, George Clooney directs this story based on a real family at the time and a back story of a couple (Matt Damon and Julianne Moore) who also star as two people in over their heads with an immoral plan.

The film has shades of classic films like “Double Indemnity” and “The Postman Always Rings Twice”, but shifts the intrigue to a housing development.

An opening sequence showing a video promo for potential residents, advertises Suburbicon as a kind of place similar to New York, Ohio and Mississippi.

Problem is every happy family in the video is white, suggesting a restrictive environment, even if it’s not declared as such. A good natured mailman gets the shock of his life when he knocks on the door of a new resident and discovers that the African-American woman he assumes to be the maid is actually the lady of the house, Mrs. Meyers. The news instantly spreads, sparking a bigoted town hall meeting at which homeowners protest the perceived violation of their community and the inevitable drop in property values.

Across the Meyers back yard, the action is also happening in the home of Gardner Lodge (Damon), his wife Rose (Moore) and their young son Nicky (Noah Jupe. Rose is a frail blonde who has been in a wheelchair and bitter since a car accident in which her husband was at the wheel.

That leaves her twin sister Margaret (Moore again) a regular presence in the house, who is identical aside from being a brunette.

Violence occurs as intruders invade there home and knock out the family with chloroform. Nicky wakes up to learn that his mother has died, and Aunt Maggie has moved in right after the funeral, apparently to provide stability in the wake of tragedy.

We see Nicky piece together the truth while wrestling with the necessity to trust his father also a bitter smugness creeps into the movie that’s intensified by the distracted treatment of the very real horror being experienced by the Meyers family.

Rated MA 15plus 8 out of 10