Home' Nova National : March 2011 Contents 37
FILMS BY MARY O'DONOVAN
© NOVA MARCH 2011
CAB AUDITED FOR INTEGRITY
★★★★★ so good ★★★★ really good ★★★ pretty good ★★ not so good ★ no good
quietly implements the cost saving
measures and life changes slowly to
Further up the company chain is Phil
(Chris Cooper) who has worked his way
up from the factory floor. He doesn't have
any formal education and although he
survives the first round of redundancies,
he's gone in the second round as the
company begins to consolidate its position
to meet "market expectations". He
recognises his disadvantage and struggles
without family support.
Finally, there is the Gene (Tommy
Lee Jones) who is one of the men who
started the company. He watches as his
partner makes decisions to get rid of
good people and moves the company
away from its roots in shipbuilding and
into health and other "growth sectors".
He feels increasingly alienated from the
company he assisted to build and finally
he, too, is out the door.
Obviously, his options are more
extensive than his two employees, but the
loss of purpose and endeavour, even for
him, is obvious.
The Company Men has an intelligent
script, as you would expect, and it moves
from the very funny Outplacement service
scenes to pathos. The cast of Academy
Award winners even in the bit parts --
Kevin Costner is the brother-in-law who
runs a small building company -- indicates a
dedication to the subject matter.
Once you've seen the film, you might
want to grab Elisabeth Wynhausen's book
A short goodbye: A skewed history of
the last boom and the next bust to get
an idea of whether Australia really did
avoid the GFC and who is still paying
THE COMPANY MEN ★★★★
The Global Financial Crisis (GFC)
according to some economists, didn't
hit Australia as hard as it did elsewhere.
However, there is no doubting there are
still people in Australia who are smarting
from its effect.
The Company Men, written by
sometime West Wing writer and director
John Wells, focuses on three men's
experience of the GFC and the ways in
which they and their families cope.
Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is a fast
talking salesman for a large conglomerate.
He has a lovely wife, a big house, a Porsche
and at 37 seems set for life. Then he walks
in one day and his job is gone. He is just
one of the "cost saving measures" that
the company is implementing. He's not
a person but an expense and he has to
go. He is given six months Outplacement
training and severance pay.
He is convinced he will find work
shortly, so the measures that his wife
Maggie (Rosemarie de Witt) suggests, like
selling the Porsche and downsizing, are
met with disbelief and anger. He will have
a job any minute.
As the months drag on and his anger
dissipates to a quiet desperation, Maggie
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