Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep (Sony Classics, opening today) has a lousy 55% Rotten Tomatoes score, but it isn’t too bad. Really. It’s relatively decent, semi-tolerable, good enough, etc. Is it sleepy? A little bit, yeah. Is it overly mellow and modulated? Yeah. Is it relatively well-plotted and engrossing as far as it goes? Yes, more or less. Will 22 year-olds like it? Nope.
I’m giving it a 7.5 out of 10. Okay, a 7.7.
Believe me, if this thing was any kind of burn I would say so. It underwhelmed me somewhat but it never pissed me off. If I had paid to see it I…I’m not sure how I would have felt but I’d probably be okay with it. Shrugging-your-shoulders okay, I mean. No harm, no foul.
I mean, you know going in that Redford, due respect, peaked as a director 19 years ago with Quiz Show and 12 years ago as an actor in Spy Game. You knew he’d really lost it after seeing Lions for Lambs…forget it. So you go in hoping that The Company You Keep will be at least good enough to not annoy or alienate and you’re more or less placated when it meets that test.
Honestly? Most of the time I was thinking about the plastic surgery that 75 year-old Redford has had — subtle, selective, nothing too drastic — along with costar Julie Christie. Forgive me but I think this somehow undercuts their attempts at portraying former ’60s Weathermen-type radicals. Not that I mind these two looking a bit less saggy than their years would indicate, but looking at their slightly altered appearance takes away from the authenticity one associates with the life and values of an ex-hardcore radical. I’m sorry but they look like movie stars who have enough money to do a little something about being in their 70s.
The trick with plastic surgery is to have just enough done so it doesn’t look like anything. Honestly? I think Christie went a little too far but Redford got it more or less right, although you can still tell.
Has Susan Sarandon, who plays a Bernadine Dohrn-like ex-fugitive who is busted early on, had any touch-ups? If she has they’re not noticable, but she looks pretty good so you have to kinda wonder.
Those in The Company You Keep who haven’t had plastic surgery: Shia LaBeouf, Jackie Evancho (who plays Redford’s 11-year-old daughter), Brendan Gleeson (real and genuine and honestly himself), Brit Marling, Anna Kendrick, Terrence Howard (who bellows like an authoritarian hard-ass throughout the whole film — a huge pain-in-the-ass), Richard Jenkins, Nick Nolte (who looks like he’s been drinking beer and eating french fries), Sam Elliott, Stephen Root, Stanley Tucci and Chris Cooper.