DRAMA; 1hr 44min
STARRING: Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones
For a corporate executive, the shame of being fired is one of the many luxuries that are suddenly unaffordable. GTX, the Boston manufacturing giant at the centre of this penetrating study from writer-director John Wells, has 60,000 employees and a gross annual revenue of $11 billion. But with the recession biting, no staffers are safe, including Bobby Walker (Affleck), who has been with GTX for 12 years and feathered a palatial nest from his $120,000 salary package.
Fired with no notice, Bobby is confident-to-cocky about his chances of employment. Three months later, however, with his severance pay about to run out, he must reassess who he is as those clinging to fat-cat positions feel the heat through explosive meetings and continued mass sackings. (Cooper and Jones, who along with Kevin Costner lead the impressive ensemble cast.)
While not entirely pessimistic, The Company Men unsettles in its underscoring of how strongly we are defined by what we do and how vulnerable anyone can be. It’s the kind of uncomfortably honest film that makes you grateful for what you have, along with fearful of what you could lose.