The Company Men

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The Company Men   rm –  This movie puts a face on the wide spread and often tragic unemployment that has been occurring in the US during the past few years. It mainly follows three men who unexpectedly lose their jobs because of the economy downturn and because their shipbuilding company is no longer producing many ships. However, these guys are not your assembly line grunts. Writer/Director John Wells who is known for his involvement in the politically oriented West Wing TV series has chosen to show us how the upper middle class and above are impacted by unemployment. Bobby Walker ( Ben Affleck) drives a sporty convertible and lives in a lovely house in the suburbs before he loses his job. He is the lowest end of  the food chain of the three newly unemployed guys  which includes characters played by Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones . The latter plays a man with millions of dollars in stock options who was long time buddy of the owner and founder (Craig Nelson) of the entire company. The owner fired him while he himself receives a gigantic salary, options and even sells the company. Those formerly under him are scraping to make ends meet while they hang around for months and months in an office of an outplacement company. This situation alone, might stir you up as it did us since we have been railing for awhile why there isn’t a law preventing CEOs from getting outrageous salaries and payoffs without stockholders approval while their company goes down the tubes (see my article in the Huffington Post). This film captures the personal travail that in this case a few men go through as well as how it affects their wives and children. It can even drive a person to suicide. Kevin Costner has a relatively small role in the movie as the one person who works with his hands as a carpenter, home- fixer up guy who is able to barely keep working in contrast to brother in law realistically played by Affleck. The movie doesn’t have any real big surprises. Everyone knows the stories and even the poignant moments are more or less expected and maybe even a little stereotyped. Everyone is glum and down in the dumps and it is contagious watching it for 104 minutes but the movie did tell it like it is and will stand as a fictional documentary of the hard times for many people.(2011)

Category: 3 Stars, Drama | Tags: , , , , , , , , Comment »


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