The Company You Keep Reviews
I was surprised to see that this movie didn't get a major release because it has an impressive cast and with Robert Retford in the directing chair, I knew that it was going to be a detailed, political drama because of his personal political views. I must admit, it does get a bit boring after a while but I was wondering how the plot was going to pan out. Its about a recently widowed single father, Jim Grant (Robert Redford), whose a former Weather Underground militant, wanted for a 1980 Michigan bank robbery and the murder of the bank's security guard. After being in hiding for 30 years, working as a defence attorney in Albany, New York under a new identity, a former Weather Underground member is arrested, Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon), and an ambitious reporter, Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf) gets put in the case. Ben's boss, Ray Fuller (Stanley Tucci) wants Ben to use his political connections to find out exactly what happened during the robbery, so Ben goes to his ex-girlfriend Diana (Anna Kendrick), for information. Ben then finds out that Jim hasn't got a Social Security number, prior to 1979 and he finds a copy of Jim Grants death certificate. After some more digging, he finds out that Jim Grant is really Nick Sloan, whose a former Weatherman, so he writes an article, which gets the FBI involved in the case. They then post "Wanted" pictures in the media with Jim's face, so he calls his younger brother, Daniel (Chris Cooper) for help. Whilst on the run, Jim turns on the fire alarm in his hotel and escapes through the back door while Daniel takes his young daughter, Isabel, to safety. As Daniel has custody papers for Jim's daughter, the FBI have to let them go, knowing that Jim is close by. After slipping through there fingers, Jim heads to Milwaukee to find his old friend Donal (Nick Note), to try and find Mimi Lurie (Julie Christie), who was an accomplice in the bank robbery and last seen in Canada. After putting him up for the night, Donal tells him to see a former member whose now become a history professor, Jed (Richard Jenkins) who reluctantly gives him information about Mimi's whereabouts, using his old connections. Jim then finds out that Mimi has been working in California with her boyfriend Mac (Sam Elliott), importing marijuana into the US, and when he gets in touch with Mac, he tells him that Mimi has left to go "Inland". As Jim used to have an relationship with Mimi, he knows exactly were to find her, but with the FBI on his tail, he has to be careful with his movements. Meanwhile Ben is digging deeper into Jim's case file, which leads him to Michigan were he talks to he talks to a retired cop, Henry (Brendan Gleeson), who was the first person to investigate the crime. Ben then finds out that Henry had close connections to Mimi before the robbery and he can feel that he's hiding important information, so he sticks around and he goes on a date with Henry's adopted daughter Rebecca (Brit Marling). After getting some more information from Rebecca, Henry tells Ben that he knows that Jim will be cleared of all charges if Mimi admits to using his car on the day of the robbery. Meanwhile, Jim meets Mimi in a secluded cabin in the middle of nowhere, and he tries to convince Mimi to come clean, for his daughters sake, but she still has strong political views about the Weathermen organisation. They then talk about the daughter that they gave up during there radical years together, which turns out to be Henry's adopted daughter, Rebecca and when Henry tells Ben about Rebecca's identity he realises that Jim is looking for Mimi to clear his name. Ben then goes to the cabin and confronts Jim, who he knows is innocent but Mimi has already left for Canada. Knowing that the FBI are close by, Jim makes them follow him so Mimi can escape. While Mimi is on the run on her boat, the guilt becomes to much for her and she decides to turn herself in, which frees Jim from jail, so he can reunite with his daughter Isabel. Ben then decides not to expose the whole story, to protect Rebecca's true identity. It is a detailed storyline with some intense moments and the cast was great but I'm not one for political dramas. If It wasn't for the A-Class actors, I would have definitely fallen asleep because it seemed like it was going round in circles. The whole journalism concept of the film, did turn my stomach because Shia LaBeouf's character didn't care about the damage that he was causing. Anyway, there are many twists and turns throughout the film to keep in interesting but it's not the type of film that I would watch twice. Average!
Its hard to believe that Robert Redford is still going strong, at the age of 79 and with over 70 movies to his name which have grossed nearly $2Billion, he can definitely be proud of his career in cinema, in front and behind the camera. He reunites with Jane Fonda in the upcoming movie, Our Souls At Night and he stars alongside Jeffrey Wright in Heretic. He also plays a major role as Pete's father in Disney's Pete's Dragon, which is due out this year, so he's still quite busy. In this film, which he also directed, he did put in a realistic performance and from a directional point of view, all of the actors gave this movie there all but it did seem to drag after a while.
Worldwide Gross: $20million
I recommend this movie to people who are into their drama/thrillers starring Robert Redford, Shia LeBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Terence Howard, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brendan Gleeson and Sam Elliott. 4/10
The film's strength is in it's ability to keep the tension up, without you really thinking or feeling it or knowing it's there. It's an intelligent film based around a 20- something journalist (Beowulf) who doesn't abide by office rules, but shows up for himself and the people he interviews.
What I would say is that maybe you need another three hours of film time - or six? - to really go into the story to make it an actual really good film (read: 5 stars) as there was at least one thing in there towards the end that was wasn't fully fleshed out (read: I wanted to know more about a character). But films are made in 120 minutes, and at the end of the day the weaving characters and moving plot are what makes this truthful and propulsive film. The cinematography is great (and subtle) too.