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Friday, November 15, 2013

'A man is known by the company he keeps'

- Euripides

This week's movie rental was one recommended by my sister - The Company You Keep ...

a 2012 political action thriller produced and directed by, and starring, Robert Redford. The script was written by Lem Dobbs based on the 2003 novel of the same name by Neil Gordon ... The story centers on recent widower and single father, Jim Grant [Redford], a former Weather Underground anti-Vietnam War militant wanted for a bank robbery and murder. Grant has hidden from the FBI for over 30 years, as an attorney in Albany, New York. He becomes a fugitive when his true identity is exposed by Ben Shepard [Shia LaBeouf], an aggressive young reporter.

Also in the cast: Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Stanley Tucci, and Chris Cooper. Here's a bit from a review of the film in TIME ...

[...] The Company You Keep, which has its world premiere tonight at the Venice Film festival before it plays on Sunday at the Toronto fest, is Redford’s ninth film as a director and one of his knottiest and most involving. With a welcome mixture of juice and grit, the movie dramatizes the lingering conundrums of young people in the time of the Vietnam morass. Many went to war, others to Canada, some into the relative safety of the National Guard or graduate school. A few, infuriated by the Kent State slaughter and exasperated by the limits of nonviolent resistance, took up arms against what they saw as the atrocities of the Johnson and Nixon administrations. When the Feds came after them, they went into hiding, fugitives in their own country, for years or forever. As Sloan says, “I’ve been Jim Grant longer than I’ve been me.” ........

The aging remnants of the Weather Underground are played by Redford, Christie, Sarandon, Sam Elliott, Richard Jenkins and Nick Nolte, and they bring the movement a wintry luster. These six actors, whose median age is 70, have been in movies for an average of 42 years — since the glory, gory days of the antiwar militants — which makes this film The Expendables of non-action pictures, and a paean to glamour in the twilight years. Redford and Christie, whose movie careers began exactly a half-century ago, still exude the glow of independent icons; their confrontation toward the end of the film is a kind of summit meeting of liberal celebrity. If, as Euripedes wrote, a man is known by the company he keeps, the ancient real-life radicals are in glittering company ....


Here's a trailer ...


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