Matt Damon has starring roles in two of the hottest Oscar contenders to debut at the Venice film festival: Alexander Payne‘s social satire “Downsizing,” which opened the 74th edition of this festival on Aug. 31, and George Clooney‘s crime drama “Suburbicon,” which premiered on Sept. 2. Early reviews for the latter, which Paramount describes as “a tale of very flawed people making very bad choices,” are very strong.
Damon plays Gardner Lodge, a husband and father in Suburbicon, “a town of great wonder and excitement,” who must deal with the aftermath of his wife being murdered during a home invasion. Oscar winner Julianne Moore plays both the dead woman and her sister while Oscar Isaac is an insurance investigator.
“Surburbicon” is a darkly comic film, a combination of sorts of two recent Best Picture Oscar champs: “American Beauty” (1999) and “No Country for Old Men” (2007). The latter was by the Coen brothers, who crafted the original script for “Suburbicon” back in 1986. Clooney and Grant Heslov (who collaborated on the Oscar-nominated scripts for “Good Night, and Good Luck” and “The Ides of March”) are credited as co-writers on this film.
While Clooney has won Oscar for acting (“Syriana,” 2005) and producing (“Argo,” 2012), he lost both those races for writing as well as his sole bid for directing “Good Night, and Good Luck” in 2005. “Suburbicon” marks his first time in the director’s chair since the 2014 misfire “The Monuments Men,” in which he co-starred with Damon.
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