The Company You Keep movie poster. Environmentally Correct
The Company You Keep
Stars: Robert Redford, Shia LeBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Nick Nolte, Terrence Howard and Chris Cooper
Director: Robert Redford
Scriptwriter: Lem Dobbs from the novel by Neil Gordon
Cinematography: Adriano Goldman
Voltage Pictures
Rating: R
Running Length:
121 minutes
The Company You Keep is a Robert Redford film. It is environmentally/ecologically correct right down to time spent at a private pond/cabin in the woods. Reference Walden Pond. The basic story is about secrets that are held for many years and then come forth in a rush whether you like it or not. The past becomes the present and into the future. There are certainly big name stars here from Redford, who starred and directed, to Julie Christie (looking like Lauren Hutton), Susan Sarandon, Shia LeBeouf, Nick Nolte (such a deep voice)to Terrence Howard and Chris Cooper. The film seems longer than two hours
Robert Redford plays Jim/Nick who lives in a small upper New York state town as a lawyer.  He has a young daughter and Chris Cooper is his brother. Shia LeBeouf is ambitious reporter who gets the story of a lifetime when Susan Sarandon comes forward after thirty years to give herself up. She was involved in a bank robbery years ago, as a rights activist, and a guard was killed. Other names from the group come forth and lo and behold, someone recognizes Redford as one of them.  Off he goes to clear his name, but first he has to find Julie Christie who was also part of the group. How people change after 30 years, on the outside, that is, but the inside, core-hard, remains. Is it "once an activist, always an activist?" Their escape plans could be followed by the CIA, as intricate as they are.  Hot on everyone's trail is LeBeouf after his story, but his reasoning about the group begins to change.
The acting here is well done, especially Julie Christie who answers questions with  questions, Chris Cooper as the reluctant brother, Nick Nolte as a friend, and Susan Sarandon, who shines in a scene with Shai in which he clarifies what it means to be an activist.  The cinematography by Adriano Goldman is also an "actor" in the film and many of the shots are framed like photographs.  Redford looks a bit worn to have starred in this movie, though his direction is fine.
All in all, The Company You Keep gives you an inside look at an activist group that, once together, still holds ties. Are their beliefs worth fighting for if it involves robbing banks and shootings? For those sitting in prison, perhaps not.  The best acting are scenes between Redford and Christie as they talk about the past in veiled language.  Even now, there is secrecy. The Company You Keep could have been titled, The Company I Have Kept and still get the point across that some things that were thought worth fighting for, sometimes, never change. 
Copyright 2013 Marie Asner
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