The Company Men

When The Company Men begins, the soundtrack replays the audio from television coverage at the beginning of the economic crisis of September 2008. GTX Corporation, in response to a lack of sales, soon begins to downsize while its CEO (played by Craig T. Nelson) retains his $22 million salary as the 17th richest executive in the country. Following a “situation drama” storytelling mode, a top salesperson (played by Ben Affleck) and even division heads (played by Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones) are let go, one by one. How will they cope with insufficient funds to pay their mortgages and club memberships? How will the face their friends, neighbors, relatives, and spouses? None attempts a political solution. Most look for work again, even seeking counseling on how to prepare their résumés to avoid falling victim to age discrimination while applying for jobs. The Company Men, directed by John Wells, portrays much anomie, and tries to provide happy endings for most. An audio soundtrack ends with the suggestion that Barclays Bank bought Lehman Brothers for a song and that Wall Street continues to make money the old fashioned way—by “stealing it.” MH