When I saw “The Company Men” six years ago this month, I thought it was one of the best movies I have ever seen about the realities of life, money and working for other people. This film is about injustice and greed and the story can be defined very simply as a CEO of a company, played by Craig T Nelson, who became extremely rich off of the hard work of his employees for 30 years and then when it was time to make even more money, he fired almost all of them, not caring what happened to any of these people who built the company that made him rich. This film is about people back-stabbing and screwing over other people for their own financial gain. Most of the employees of this major company were living at their means, felt financially safe and secure and then all of the sudden, they all lost their jobs and there were no other jobs to be had anywhere. Most of the people who were fired had families and lived as if things would always be safe and secure and the money would always be coming in, never thinking that they would ever lose their jobs, which is a tragic reality for too many people.
The main focus of the film centers around Bobby Walker, played very well by Ben Affleck and his family and their struggles after he loses his job after the massive downsizing at his company. We follow Walker through the process of going to a job search company where they supposedly try to help you to get another job. As the months go by, he is forced to sell his car and other possessions and is worried about losing his own home. He is screwed around by recruiters and other contacts for months as he desperately tries to find another job before it is too late. Walker’s desperation and extreme anger at the company he helped built and his inability to find another job is very well portrayed in this film as is another fired employee Phil Woodward played very well by Chris Cooper. Kevin Costner also has a small role in this film as Bobby Walker’s brother in law and this is one of his better performances in recent years.
This movie came out at the perfect time, less than two years after the 2008 financial crisis and everyone can relate to the sheer terror of losing your job and financial security and finding no way out. The voice of compassion in this movie is portrayed extremely well by Tommy Lee Jones, who is the vice president of the company and tries to talk some reason and human decency into the CEO to try and stop him from firing so many good people.
This movie is a hidden gem that came out in 2010 and one of those small movies that everyone can relate to. I highly recommend The Company Men for everyone who has not seen this great film.