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The Company Men: Movie Review

By tvnz.co.nz's Darren Bevan

Published: 11:09AM Monday July 04, 2011

  • The Company Men

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The Company Men

Rating: 7/10

Cast: Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner, Craig T Nelson, Maria Bello

Director: John Wells

An impressive ensemble cast come together in this film about downsizing and the effects it has on a man's psyche.

Affleck plays ambitious Bobby Walker who has it all - a lavish house, a sports car and everything money could buy. But his world changes when he loses his job at the GTX Corporation during a downsizing, he's forced to re-evaluate his life.

However, he's not alone; Chris Cooper plays Phil Woodward, a middle manager at the same company who also finds himself in the same position but faces different hurdles because of his age.

At the top of the corporate chain is Tommy Lee Jones' Gene McClary who helped found the company along - eventually he finds himself in the same position as those further down the ladder.

The Company Men is a well acted, if occasionally slow look at the effects of the recession on three walks of life; granted, it's a little hard to sympathise at times with Affleck's Walker as he initially continues to live in the grand house and drive the swish car while the hard times hit. But you can understand how pride is the biggest hurdle during recessionary times.

However, this drama from the writer of ER is really about how people are forced to re-evaluate their lives and outlooks; it's perhaps telling that this happens in slower ways than you'd expect - Walker explodes during an interview for a position he's overqualified for - and because of that is a little more effective.

By putting three different faces on the downsizing impact, Wells crafts a good story and gets to the psyche of what's continuing to effect many both in America and worldwide. Every single one of the cast delivers a strong performance and together, they show what a truly impressive ensemble can achiever.

Well acted and well crafted, The Company Men is the antithesis of the frothiness of the last downsizing film Up In The Air with George Clooney and really gives a real face to the actual issues and emotional impact of an economy which is continuing to stall.

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