At The Movies Tonight: Newspaper Procedural? Big Yawn, Right? Surprise: Thumbs Up!

Movie Company You KeepWoodstock Early Bird doesn’t do too many movie reviews here, but every once in a while, we catch a flick at our local Town Hall that warrants its own post. You’d figure someone in the news business might like a story about…the news business. But, this one “The Company You Keep” is about a bit more than that…It’s really a chase movie. See, not what we thought!

However, it’s also about big ideas like ETHICS: Ethics in journalism, ethics in law, ethics in political activism.  Who is the right-ist? And when might it be time to — if ever — to get off the pedestal of one’s concrete beliefs and value systems?

A few things to get out of the way first. This is clearly Director Robert Redford’s latest vehicle for his now almost geriatric 60’s and 70’s “radical” Hollywood friends.  We get them fast-forwarded  as characters in the film with all their glorious good looks now all “truthfully” depicted in HD-wrinkles and packaged in Redford’s own mom-style-jeans. We get his one-time paramour from the past,  the whiskey-voiced,  but now collagen-injected Julie Christie and the let-it-all-hang-out remains of Nick Nolte. There are other actors of note from that era who many will enjoy seeing as they “are” today.

This is an often heavy-handed Redford movie-with-a-message “thriller”,  if you will,  based on Vietnam-era history about members of the Weather Underground and their reasons for activism that led to the murder of innocent people.

A “rube” reporter  from the Albany Times-Union, played by Shia LaBoeuf,  gets the story when a woman from Vermont is arrested after crossing the border into New York State.  Yes, they even put the Vermont license plate on Susan Sarandon’s car. Of course, we noticed.

Our reporter becomes interested and then driven to find out why a public interest lawyer refuses to take the Sarandon case.  The movie takes off and away we go. The reporter has the story from start to finish, but will he ever hesitate?

This film has the same tightly compacted story and structure of Argo, so that by story’s end you feel you’ve had just enough.  You’ll be trying to figure this one out from start to finish with time enough left to sink your teeth into some good old Redford Sundance Filmfest indie production values. In the end, we hope you’re satisfied. We were.

Is it a happy ending? We’re not sure…What does it take to live with yourself, the decisions you’ve made and the life you have chosen?

P.S. The stunning law student (an actual Georgetown University grad) who appears as a pivot point and shall-we-say “love interest” in this film is an actually newish to the screen WRITER Brit Marling,  a  winner of  Redford’s Sundance Film Festival Screenwriting Award.

7:30pm Town Hall Theater

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Marcy on May 26, 2013 at 02:41

    I rarely go to movies, but saw this last week in North Carolina with my ski club. The Tryon Theatre is also historic and it sells beer in the balcony. I thought this movie was fabulous, and as a non-movie goer usually, it takes a lot to impress me.


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