Writer-director John Wells‘ The Company Men shows what happens to workers after the Gordon Gekkos (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), of the world are given carte blanche to make whatever changes they want together with corrupted liberal politicians.
And what does happen? Unemployment runs out of control. The entrepreneurial spirit is crushed. Jobs are exported. All to benefit a precious belong few of the rich.
“The Company Men” is fictional but it plays like a document drama. It is truthful. It is the brutal reality about how American society — and, by economic influence, Canadian society too — has suffered under this system. However, the film tells the saga inside a specific universe that draws deep inside. You can make your own assumption.
Tommy Lee Jones in The Weinstein Company’s The Company Men
Tommy Lee Jones plays a crispy corporate boss. He snaps off cruel jokes. He is rude and horrible, even to friends. His man is someone who actually created a company, created jobs. Damned if he will let all that go just for money. Craig T. Nelson plays with greasy magnetism his partner who is willing to sell their company. And the employees will all suffer, whether they are suits played by Ben Affleck and Chris Cooper.
The Company Men emerges as a strong movie experience for adults. Affleck continues to show his maturity. The killjoy Jones, of course, is always superb in reality drama. Cooper acts another complex role. Rosemarie DeWitt and Maria Bello give maximums of the womanly experience inside this male milieu.
Photo of Ben Affleck in The Company Men
The Company Men works better than Oliver Stone’s new Wall Street sequel, although the two films would make a good double bill. Or turn it into a triple with Jason Reitman‘s excellent Up in the Air. The depression of 2008/2009 messed millions of people up, many of whom have not recovered. The Company Men helps us make sense of the spectacle.