Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

MIA: The Company You Keep

THE COMPANY YOU KEEP, Another missing in action one here, this 2012 film directed by Robert Redford never opened here at all. How on earth could this be? It features Redford, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Shia LeBeouf, Nick Nolte, Stanley Tucci, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Elliott and others in a strong drama that tries to follow in the steps and look of those classic ‘70s political thrillers (like THE PARALLAX VIEW), but is not quite up in that league. 

We follow Redford, a former political activist, going on the run (again, as he did in THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR in‘75) as he realises he is in danger when Sarandon (a terrorist who has been in hiding for decades for anti-Vietnam activities over 40 years ago) is arrested. One could carp that Redford in his 70s is too old here (particularly as he has a 11 year old daughter), but hey he was back this last year sailing single-handed in just as much peril! (in ALL IS LOST). 

Its a sympathetic look at the wrinkled radicals and survivors of the 1960s protest movements. "I grew up," asserts lawyer Jim Grant (Redford), explaining his decision to adopt a new identity, get married, have a kid, and pursue a purposeful career. Admirable, perhaps, but kind of dull; whereas his unrepentant ex-girlfriend (Christie), who's proud to be "running good honest weed" off the coast of California rather than doing something legal and bad like looting pension funds.

Obviously worth watching but it could have been so much better, perhaps that’s the usual problem with actors directing themselves as well as a large cast in a strongly-plotted story. 
It is interesting seeing those '60s icons Redford and Christie together at last - she looks better than he does! It would have been fascinating too if his BUTCH CASSIDY co-star Katharine Ross (Mrs Sam Elliott) had joined them here ...

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