Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Company Men

Last year, "Up In The Air" showed us what it was like to fire people in a downsizing economy. "The Company Men" gives us an idea of the receiving end of those pink slips. Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper are three levels of executives downsized by their company during the economic crash of 2008.

The film is both scary and depressing as writer/director John Wells holds a mirror up to the harsh reality of the employment crisis in this country. The film does have some redeeming moments though, most notably in the acting of it's three leads, each handling their situation in a different way. The script tends towards the melodramatic extreme in the case of Mr. Affleck and his family as their life crashes around them in less than a year but everything else about the film feels real.

A big surprise in the film is Kevin Costner, who shines in a supporting role as Mr. Affleck's brother-in-law. Out of the star spotlight, he can relax and just act naturally in his best role in years. Rosemary DeWitt is also excellent as Mr. Affleck's wife, standing by her man, even as everything they have is stripped away.

"The Company Men" is a hard sell as escapist entertainment when the subject matter is all round us but if you appreciate good acting, see it for the cast. They do their best to help the rest of us cope.

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