A fictionalized former President Richard M. Nixon offers a solitary, stream-of-consciousness reflection on his life and political career - and the "true" reasons for the Watergate scandal and his resignation.
The familiar tragic story of Vincent van Gogh is broadened by focusing as well on his brother Theodore, who helped support Vincent. The movie also provides a nice view of the locations which Vincent painted.
An inside look at the world of ballet. With the complete cooperation of the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Altman follows the stories of the dancers, whose professional and personal lives grow impossibly close, as they cope with the demands of a life in the ballet. Campbell plays a gifted but conflicted company member on the verge of becoming a principal dancer at a fictional Chicago troupe, with McDowell the company's co-founder and artistic director, considered one of America's most exciting choreographers. Franco plays Campbell's boyfriend and one of the few characters not involved in the world of dance.Written by
Andrea Barney <andrea808@hotmail..com>
Yet another marvelous, marvelous film from Robert Altman. I hope that he makes a hundred more movies before he leaves us. What really needs to be said about The Company, though, is this: kudos to Neve Campbell! This is certainly an Altman film, but it was Ms. Campbell who organized this whole project and pulled it off. Who knew that this young beauty had merely been slumming the whole time? Her years in awful television drama and slasher flicks paid off. She came up with the story, put up some of the money, and she was the one who convinced Altman to take the job. Not only that, but she comes off as almost too modest with the relatively small role she has in the film. Of course, she's in it more than anyone else, and we get to learn about her life more than anyone else's, but the spotlight is simply on ballet itself. And what a beautiful art it is! The film works like a musical, with ballet numbers popping up throughout the loose narrative. Most are unannounced: these are just some of the performances the company (the Joffrey Ballet Company of Chicago) give throughout their season. The final setpiece (a hallmark of Robert Altman's cinema) is built up to through most of the film. The Company works much like a documentary, a documentary that makes no commentary on its subject. It's all just observation. In many ways, it's not like a regular Altman film, because another of his hallmarks is the swift and thorough characterizations his subjects receive. By the end of Nashville, those 20+ characters are so potent in our minds that the audience could write novels based on them. Not so with this one, where we really only get wisps of the people. It's a subtler approach than Altman's more famous films; it's a grace, I suppose, that fits the subject. We watch the everyday events that occur in the company, the successes and the failures, the fading careers and the beginnings, the egos of the stars and the humbleness of the chorus. The film also follows the characters (this time mostly Neve's) lives after the season is over. Campbell has to work as a bartender in a trendy club. Along the course of the film she meets a handsome young chef played by James Franco. Malcolm McDowell shows the strongest personality in the film, mostly because he's playing the company's head. The kind of humor that is specifically Altman's is not common in The Company, but when it does pop up it's always around McDowell. This is a wonderful film, not to be missed. It's also the rare film that I really wish I could have seen in a theater. Perhaps one day, at a distant Robert Altman retrospective, I will have that opportunity. 9/10.
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