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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

THE COMPANY MEN

By D.E.Levine

By D.E.Levine

Director: John Wells
Writer: John Wells
Cast: Ben Afleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Maria Bello, Craig T. Nelson, Kevin Costner, Dana Eskelson, Sasha Spielberg, Thomas Kee, Craig Mathers, Suzanne Rico, Gary Galone, Adrianne Krstansky, Lewis D. Wheeler, Celeste Oliva et al.
Producers: Claire Rudnick Polstein, Paula Weinstein and John Wells
Executive Producer: Barbara A. Hall
Co-producer: Jinny Joung
Original Music: Aaron Zigman
Running Time: 104 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Genre: Drama

Anyone who has ever been laid off or fired from a job, or has a friend or relative who has lost their job, can relate to this film.

Sitting in a darkened theater watching the story unfold, it is disheartening but totally realistic regarding how bottom line profits dictate careers and futures, regardless of loyalty, hard work and dedication.

Focusing on the downsizing done at a fictional Boston corporation, GTX, the film is sad but true about corporate executive 50 and over who have dedicated their lives (and in some instances their families) for the corporation. It's also a riveting and horrifying awakening to younger corporate climbers.

Perhaps because the world is currently suffering such a high rate of unemployment and uncertainty, as well as financial failures in business, Ponzi schemes and mortgage scandals resulting in home repossession, the audience is pulled into this story and suffers along with the predicaments its characters endure.

With a stellar cast and a strong story, this is an unhappy commentary about what happens to people who are defined by their jobs. Once those jobs are taken away from them, in addition to the financial deprivation and adjustment, their identities are also at risk.

As sad as this story is, the film is a gem. It shows what we've all learned over the past few years. Corporate beneficence and loyalty to longtime employees no longer exists.

It's also obvious that there was some heavy editing done as some subplots are all but abandonned. But even with some flaws this is definitely well worth seeing and perhaps, in part, an education to the current workforce.