Here’s a little sizzle reel (via Slashfilm via AICN) of Ben Affleck’s upcoming The Company Men, which also features Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello and Chris Cooper (Jesus, that’s some kind of great cast, actually). And forgive me for saying this, but as soon as Costner realizes that he can’t continue to play romantic-comedy leads or washed-up athletes anymore and starts choosing his parts a little more wisely (think Newman in his twilight), he might have some solid late career juice left in him.
The Company Men is written and directed by John Wells, who is making his feature directorial debut. Most know Wells as a writer and producer for “ER” and “The West Wing,” post-Sorkin (i.e., the bad years, save for that remarkably strong final season). It’s hard to get a feel for how good the movie might be from this little teaser set to music, but it’s an intriguing premise, as it follows several men as they cope with the aftermath of a round of corporate downsizing (from the looks of it, Affleck gets pushed back into his Good Will Hunting job). The movie thematically explores the powerlessness of losing one’s job, ground which was also covered in Up in the Air, though there’s a lot of mileage in that topic still.
The movie will premiere at Sundance (out of competition) later this month, before getting a wide release later this year. I’m kind of aching to see it, myself. As someone who gave up a more promising, more secure career to do his dream job, only to feel interminably like the street curb is but a missed student-loan payment away, I’m really captivated by movies that explore career transitions and the loss of dignity (and identity) that’s often attached.