FILM: THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
CAST: Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie
DIRECTOR: Robert Redford
Jim Grant (Robert Redford) is a civil rights lawyer and single father raising his daughter in the tranquil suburbs of Albany, New York. His world is turned upside down when a brash young reporter named Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf), exposes Grant’s true identity as a former 1970s antiwar radical fugitive wanted for murder. After living for more than 30 years underground as a lawyer, Grant must now go on the run. He is the centre of a nationwide manhunt and with the FBI in hot pursuit, he sets off on a cross-country journey to track down the one person that can clear his name.
Shepard knows the significance of the national news story he has exposed and for a journalist, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. Hell-bent on making a name for himself, he is willing to stop at nothing to capitalize on it. He digs deep into Grant’s past. Despite warnings from his editor and threats from the FBI, Shepard relentlessly tracks Grant across the country.
As Grant reopens old wounds and reconnects with former members of his antiwar group, the Weather Underground, Shepard realizes something about this man is just not adding up. With the FBI closing in, Shepard uncovers the shocking secrets Grant has been keeping for the past three decades. As Grant and Shepard come face to face in the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, they each must come to terms with who they really are.
While the film, which is set in the present day, recalls the history and aftermath of the radical antiwar protest movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s (and in particular one of its most violent manifestations, The Weather Underground), it remains a work of fiction. Indeed it was the dramatic potential of the story itself, even more so than the meticulously researched underpinnings of Neil Gordon’s 2003 novel, which first attracted Redford to the project.
“I thought it was a good story and it gave you a chance to look inside of an event that is a piece of American history,” says Redford of the film, his first as both actor and director since his 2007 drama, ‘Lions for Lambs’. “It not only gave you the chance to look at it, but to truly get inside of it and see how people were living their lives thirty years later… underground and with a false identity.”
While Redford planned both the scenario and the production itself down to the finest detail, he also left considerable elements of the story open to the actors’ own interpretations. Indeed, as an actor himself, he encouraged each individual’s input.
“It was a skeletal script at the beginning that he was fleshing out through rehearsal,” explains LaBeouf (‘Transformers’; ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’) of the collaboration between the director and his cast.
“I think it was like 80 pages when I first received it – and then he just started pumping life into it,” adds LaBeouf. “He allowed twenty pages for the script to evolve. He was still comfortable enough to pull the green-light-trigger on it… And he had the confidence in himself and his team to be able to move forward.”
FILM: THE INTERNSHIP
CAST: VINCE VAUGHN, OWEN WILSON, ROSE BYRNE, MAX MINGHELLA, JOSH BRENER, JOSH GAD, DYLAN O’BRIEN, TOBIT RAPHAEL, TIYA SIRCAR
DIRECTOR: SHAWN LEVY
In the comedy ‘The Internship’, Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are salesmen whose careers have been torpedoed by the digital world. Trying to prove they are not obsolete, they defy the odds by talking their way into a coveted internship at Google, along with a battalion of brilliant college students. But, gaining entrance to this utopia is only half the battle. Now they must compete with a group of the nation’s most elite, tech-savvy geniuses to prove that necessity really is the mother of re-invention.
Googlers, Nooglers, and Googliness
In this new world order, Billy and Nick learn that if you want a place at the table, then you have to work harder, reinvent yourself, and develop new skills at the speed of fiber optics transmissions. Ignoring the naysayers and following their gut, Billy and Nick turn Google on its head by bringing their game to this center of the digital universe. “It’s a chance for Billy and Nick, who wake up and say, ‘We did everything the way we were supposed to, but got the short end of the stick,’” explains writer, producer and star Vince Vaughn. “And now they’re going to take a chance, follow a dream and be a part of something that is exciting and fun, and not just a means to paying the bills.”
“I think the comedy in this movie comes out of relatable situations,” Vaughn adds. “There’s authenticity to Billy and Nick’s journey, in that they initially go through some tough things, which is happening to a lot of people.”
Director and producer Shawn Levy echoes Vaughn’s observations on the relatability of the film’s premise. “I think this movie is astonishingly relevant,” states Levy. “There is a generation that feels it must reinvent itself. So how do you do that in order to write a next chapter?”
One way of reinventing yourself is to pursue non-traditional career paths. Job seekers and employers are increasingly embracing “returnships” – return-to-work programs and internships for older professionals. So, in some ways, Billy and Nick are part of a “Returnship.”
They are refreshing – and reapplying — their skill sets and learning new technologies, to rocket themselves back into the workplace in a big, big way.
“The optimism that comes from the film’s message is that maybe there’s something each generation can learn from the other.
It’s a huge part of why the film is not just funny, but also timely, aspirational and hopeful,” says Vaughn.