The Hollywood Reporter has posted their one hour long discussion between 2010 Oscar contenders Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network), Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours), Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3), John Wells (The Company Men), Todd Phillips (Due Date) and David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole).

Wait a second, is Due Date really an Awards contender? I guess maybe for the Golden Globes Best Comedy/Musical category, but Phillips does seem like the odd man out in this list of screenwriters (and this is not a slam against Todd, I enjoy his movies). Seems like The Coen Brothers (True Grit), David Seidler (The King’s Speach) or Alex Garland (Never Let Me Go) might have been better choices considering the award-focus.

I’m always excited to watch THR’s series of discussions each year, but they usually only post the more interesting clips and not the entire chat. But this year they decided to post the entire thing. Hit the jump to watch the entire hour and seven minute-long discussion.
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Movie Trailer: The Company Men

The Company Men

The Wenstein Co has released the first full length movie trailer for The Company Men , John Wells‘ feature directorial debut. Wells is best known for writing and producing hundreds of episodes of both ER and The West Wing. The movie tells the story of “three men trying to survive a round of corporate downsizing at a major company, and how that affects them, their families and communities over the course of one year.” The film stars  Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper, Maria Bello, Craig T Nelson, and Rosemarie DeWitt. It’s also worth mentioning that eight-time Academy Award nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins shot the film.

The movie premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, where we filed a video review and interview with the director. I’d like to think of The Company Men as a spin-off from Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air. Imagine being able to see what happens to some of the characters that Ryan Bingham lays off while on his business trips as a corporate downsizing specialist. In Reitman’s film we see interviews and reenactments from recently laid off workers. The Company Men is their story. I’ve heard complaints that the story is very dry, and that the film isn’t very thrilling, but I don’t believe it should be. This is the reality of downsizing, and the depressing nature of our current economic situation. If a 30 year old sales manager can’t find a new job, how is someone older, a senior executive, supposed to survive once his company abandons him?

Watch the trailer embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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The Company Men

A couple months back, John Wells‘ film The Company Men premiered at Sundance. At the time, as evidenced by this interview conducted by David Chen, Wells didn’t seem fully confident that the film would get picked up.

But the film found a home, as The Weinstein Company has picked up US distribution rights to the film, which stars Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones and Maria Bello. Read More »

johnwells

When I hear the name John Wells, I think of paramedics hurriedly rushing onto the scene of an accident, arriving just in time to barely save someone’s life. I fondly recall verbose walk-and-talks in the halls of the Bartlett White House. And I remember following the romantic lives of skilled doctors in a Chicago E.R. In short, this man is partly responsible for some of the most thought-provoking, thrilling television ever produced.

Wells directed a movie called The Company Men that premiered at Sundance this year. With an all-star cast featuring Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, and Tommy Lee Jones, The Company Men follows the lives of three men as their company is torn apart amidst a recession. The film is a personal portrait of job loss, and while its scope is relatively small, the talent of the performances is not. Affleck, Cooper, and Lee Jones all manage to cpature the pain and humiliation of economic struggle with pathos and humor. The stories feel personal and subtle, even to a fault; few things particularly “dramatic” happen during the movie, and while the film can occasionally feel aimless, its depiction of joblessness also feels deeply rooted within vagaries of our reality. Thus, while there were no helicopter crashes or gun-shot wounds in The Company Men, Wells proves that as a director, he can smoothly make the transition to film (a medium he’s already very familiar with as a producer) and tell a story with nuance and skill. You can click here to hear a couple more thoughts about the film or watch the film’s trailer.

After the break, I chat with John Wells about what inspired him to make The Company Men, true stories of job loss, and whether or not The Company Men is really an independent film.

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Sundance Video Review: The Company Men

The Company Men

I was a huge fan of John Wells’ work in E.R. and The West Wing, so when I heard that he would making his film directorial debut at Sundance with The Company Men, I was pretty excited. Add to that an all-star cast featuring Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, and Rosemary DeWitt and you have a recipe for success, right? Find out after the break if we thought The Company Men was any good.

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Sundance Film Festival

Since I’m in Park City, a day before the 2010 Sundance Film Festival officially begins, I thought I’d do a round-up of the films I’m most looking forward to this year at the festival. Attending Sundance, you have to put a list together of the movies you want to see the most. Sometimes you’re lucky and you pick something that becomes the buzz of the fest — Super Size Me, Little Miss Sunshine, Rocket Science, or (500) Days of Summer. And sometimes your choices are just dead wrong, for example, last year The Informers was on the top of my must see list. But by the end of the fest, the film was my most hated movie of the year.

So these predictions are in now way definitive. They are very subjective, films that caught my interest. I usually stick to more narrative films (over documentaries) and often see more English language films. I have my little sub genres which I always feel drawn to, for instance, I usually love coming of age stories. And if they are set in the 1970′s or 1980′s, all the better. Minimalistic one-room thrillers also interest me.

This year doesn’t have many obvious breakout choices, but had a lot of solid looking films. If you’ve been actively reading the site over the last month, then you’ve probably checked out a bunch of the Sundance photo and trailer previews and you might recognize a bunch of these films. The following 18 selections are also in no particular order. Lets take a look at my choices for this year’s festival (and it might be fun to revisit this list at the conclusion of the festival, to see how right or wrong I was).

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Teaser Trailer: The Company Men

The Company Men

A teaser trailer/musical montage/sizzle reel for John WellsThe Company Men has been discovered on vimeo (via this article on AICN). The film, which will screen at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival as part of the Premieres category, tells the story of three men trying to survive a round of corporate downsizing at a major company, and how that affects them, their families and communities over the course of one year.

The film stars  Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper, Maria Bello, Craig T Nelson, and Rosemarie DeWitt. This is the feature directorial debut of Wells, who is best known for writing and producing hundreds of episodes of both ER and The West Wing. A lot of people are interested to see what he will be able to do with a feature film. It’s also worth mentioning that eight-time Academy Award nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins shot the film. Watch the teaser trailer, embedded after the jump.

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The Company Men

John WellsThe Company Men will screen at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival as part of the Premieres category. The film tells the story of three men trying to survive a round of corporate downsizing at a major company, and how that affects them, their families and communities over the course of one year. The film stars  Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper, Maria Bello, Craig T Nelson, and Rosemarie DeWitt.

This is the feature directorial debut of Wells, who is best known for writing and producing hundreds of episodes of both ER and The West Wing. A lot of people are interested to see what he will be able to do with a feature film. It’s also worth mentioning that eight-time Academy Award nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins shot the film.

Read More »

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