The Company You Keep

2012

Drama / Thriller

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Robert Redford as Jim Grant/Nick Sloan
Brit Marling as Rebecca Osborne
Stanley Tucci as Ray Fuller
Nick Nolte as Donal Fitzgerald
720p 1080p
1.00 GB
1280*528
English
R
23.976 fps
2hr 5 min
P/S 1 / 18
1.90 GB
1920*796
English
R
23.976 fps
2hr 5 min
P/S 3 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Emma_Stewart 8 / 10

Provocative throwback to another era

The Company You Keep has a startlingly star-studded cast and I was surprised to see that most of them were in small, thankless roles. People like Sam Elliott, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper and Stanley Tucci have a couple, three scenes at most and aren't given much of anything to sink their teeth into. What I think this suggests is an immense respect for Robert Redford - there are very few directors who could assemble actors of that caliber for roles that probably anyone could play. And that respect is merited - with Company, Redford proves once again that he is an exceptionally talented director who deserves to be taken more seriously than he is.

It begins with the abrupt arrest of Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon), an American terrorist who had been living in hiding for decades since she was connected to a robbery that resulted in the murder of a security guard. Her arrest sparks renewed interest in the case and as a reporter (Shia LaBeouf) starts to dig deeper, a lawyer and newly single father (Robert Redford) realizes he is about to be uncovered and flees, leaving his daughter to stay with his younger brother (Chris Cooper) while he searches for an unknown something.

The foundation of Company is a clever, taut screenplay reminiscent of classic 70's American thrillers. It shocks the audience with reveal after reveal, always bringing up more questions and arousing more suspicions, but does so without a hint of self-importance and gracefully avoids inflated tension. Redford's graceful direction brings the electric writing to life and creates a suitably foreboding atmosphere - it's gritty, but not too dark; fast-paced, but not so much that it sacrifices plot or character; emotional, but not saccharine. For such an outlandish plot, Redford makes it feel as real as it possibly could. Too many modern thrillers like this try to make every beat into a high emotion scene, or build around the twist so it's as dramatic as possibly. Company avoids that - there is a refreshing lack of forced grandeur, and in its wake we get a surprisingly intimate film filled with truly fascinating characters and provocative moral questions that the screenplay doesn't answer for us.

The cast, as expected, are uniformly excellent. If there is a weak link it's Shia LeBeouf, whose real-life smug vanity suits the character but can only carry him so far when he's up against acting titans. He seems amateurish in his one-on-one scenes with Redford and Sarandon even though neither of them give especially domineering performances. Redford is an appropriately sympathetic lead but the supporting actors steal the movie - Susan Sarandon sets the bar very high right from the off. In her two or three short scenes, she reveals everything about her secretive, stony character; her microexpressions tell all. Cooper, Nick Nolte, Sam Elliott and Richard Jenkins light up their segments with their presences alone, while Brendan Gleeson delivers a hauntingly conflicted portrayal.

Julie Christie, though, is the standout. If this has to be her last screen appearance, it's comforting to know that she went out with a loud bang, playing a character so unlike anything she's ever done before. Her Mimi is ferocious and spirited, but her steely conviction can't quite mask the naive little girl who never really grew up hiding underneath. She communicates a world of internal conflict with a simple raise of her eyebrows, a pang of regret merely by letting her mouth fall open; she's a master of her craft, fully realizing her character in maybe 15 minutes of screen time where most of her lines hit the same note.

If there's one problem with the movie, it's that it's too short. A significant plot point towards the end isn't given the time and attention it deserves, considering its weight and implications. It felt like a wasted opportunity for an amazing, thematically fathoms-deep ending. However, the ending as it is is satisfying and well-done nonetheless, and cleanly wraps up an expertly crafted breath of fresh air for the genre. If only it had come out 35 years ago where it would have been right at home and probably would have garnered a better reception.

Reviewed by sean simpson 7 / 10

Solid well made film with reliable actors

Although not one of Redford's best, "The Company You Keep" is still way better than the majority of so called thriller/dramas produced these days in my humble opinion...excellent acting all round, Redford is good as usual (if looking a little too old maybe for this role) and the supporting cast (Cooper, Tucci, Christie and Gleeson in particular) are a credit as well. Whilst there are not a lot of twists and surprises that you can't see coming, it's the way the story is told and unfolds, and it makes you think about your ideals and sacrifices and plotted that really counts. Although I'm a Brit in my 40's and the material is not familiar to myself at all I really enjoyed the ride. Solid, if not spectacular, but definitely worth the time to view.

Reviewed by RolyRoly 7 / 10

Sure he keeps good company, but...

Robert Redford can certainly muster an impressive list of acting talent, but this film is a reminder that there is more to a good film than that.

Like many others at TIFF this year, particularly baby boomers like myself, I was keen to see how Redford would go about dealing with an especially controversial aspect of recent American history. The premise here is compelling: members of the Weather Underground who are accused of murder after what appears to have been a bungled bank robbery have gone to ground, have built lives with varying degrees of success and respectability, only to have it all reopened years later when one of them decides to turn herself in. An earnest young reporter at a small newspaper is given (or seizes) the opportunity to dig into the story and finds out more than he bargained for.

There are several problems, though. For one, the film pulls its main punch, and telegraphs that move so early on that the natural tension is never allowed to build. I know that Redford is an old-fashioned movie star, and the prospect of his having actually been guilty is perhaps just not in the cards, but knowing this in the first few minutes makes the rest of the story rather unsuspenseful. Instead of wondering whether this (frankly rather dull) single father really did what he was accused of, we are left with watching him try to exonerate himself in a cross-country odyssey that is implausible and often tedious.

To be sure, there are some fine performances. The scene between Susan Sarandon and Shia LaBeouf in prison, as she tries, with only limited success, to explain herself to a sceptical and ambitious young journalist from such a different era, is very convincing.

Redford himself, though, does not really command our attention or interest. If you're going to star in your own movie, you should be sure that you really are the best choice for the role. At the age of 76 (and yes, despite being fit and well put together, he really does look his age), Redford is at least ten years older than his role would demand. And he has a 12 year old daughter!

Moreover, he fails to infuse the role with any real passion. Now, raw emotion has never been Redford's strong suit. He is just too cool for that. But here is a role that really calls out for something other than his typical calculated, rational, "nice guy" approach.

As a director, Redford is more successful. For movie buffs, it's fun to watch the train scene, for example, (how many directors have train scenes anymore?) which pays homage to some of the great train scenes from older suspense films like North by Northwest.

With this subject matter, The Company You Keep could have been an edgy and provocative political thriller, with a resonance that makes connections between the student terrorism of the 1970's and the burning economic and social issues of today. The fact is that many of the same underlying problems that led to the formation of the Weathermen - foreign military involvement, economic disparities, reactionary social policies - remain with us. Instead, however, the film never really brings itself to confront these issues except in the most oblique and politically correct fashion. It is an opportunity squandered.

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