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The Company You Keep starring Robert Redford ... Have you read the book? #book2movie

Robert Redford's film based on Neil Gordon's book, The Company You Keep, was released in Italy on December 20th of last year...that's the Italian poster on the left.
I may or may not read the book but I really want to see this film. It's the story of a former Weatherman  (the political activists not the guys who tell us it's going to rain) in part because I'm a great admirer of Redford's lifetime of work, both on screen as well as his environmental activism.


The movie will be released in quite a few places before it lands here in the states in 'limited' release on April 5th. It's already been screened at the Venice, Toronto and Stockholm International Film Festivals. I'm lucky that living in Los Angeles almost always means we'll have some chance to see the film on a movie screen as the filmmakers intended! Here's when The Company You Keep comes to a movie theater in your country.

Sweden    18 January 2013
Brazil15 March 2013
Australia28 March 2013
New Zealand4 April 2013
USA5 April 2013(limited)
Portugal11 April 2013
France1 May 2013
UK7 June 2013
I used to be in love with Robert Redford. Seriously I did. I've probably blogged about how I once sent him a fan letter (my one and only fan letter, ever). I think it was right after The Candidate where he played the idealistic, naive liberal political candidate and at a time when he looked particularly yummy. His fan club sent back an invitation to send a $1 for which I would receive a signed photo. I was furious! I never sent the money of course, but I stayed a fan. He's a little older now and with his fair skin, hasn't really aged that well. The full youthful head of reddish blonde hair contrasted against his more aged facial appearance is disconcerting but I'm still revved up to see what project has inspired him to work again.
Of course, it's a political thriller - this is the synopsis I found on Fandango:
Working from a script by Lem DobbsRobert Redford directs and stars in The Company You Keep as Jim Grant, a former member of the Weather Underground who has been hiding out under an assumed identity ever since members of the group participated in a bank heist that ended in a guard's death. When a young reporter figures out the truth, Grant must stay one step ahead of the FBI, who want to bring charges against him for the decades-old murder.
And here's the description from Barnes and Noble:
 Set against the rise and fall of the radical antiwar group the Weather Underground, The Company You Keep is a sweeping American saga about sacrifice, the ecstatic righteousness of youth, and the tension between political ideals and family loyalties. When Jason Sinai, one of the last Vietnam-era fugitives still wanted on murder charges for a robbery gone wrong in 1974, encounters a young newspaper reporter in search of a story, he must abandon years of safe underground life for the dangerous life of the road-traveling across America and deep into his past. It is a vivid re-creation of lives lived underground—of battle-scarred veterans, ideologues, profiteers, criminals, and bystanders.
Redford, as director, has stuffed his cast with stunning talent. The young reporter is played by Shia LaBeouf. The rest of the cast includes Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Terrence Howard, Anna Kendrick, Sam Elliot, Stanley Tucci, Chris Cooper and Richard Jenkins. Young Jackie Evancho plays Isabel Grant, Jim Grant's granddaughter daughter! (thanks Chuck Yates, for the heads up). Jackie is the little girl who blew everyone away on America's Got Talent.  THOUGHTS?


  1. Well, along with many people, I watched week after week this beautiful child with the amazing voice. How great to see that she is expanding her talents.

    I would love to see this movie on the big screen but most of my movies are seen on the back of a plane seat - hah!


  2. ►► Jackie Evancho in concert is an experience not to be missed. When she appeared in London England they described their reaction to the experience as being 'gobsmacked'. If you aren't familiar with Jackie or have never attended one of her concerts check out these clips...

    •• ABC Special, Super Human

    •• London performance of Nessun Dorma

    •• Dark Waltz performance on DWTS

  3. ►► Note that Jackie Evancho plays the role of 'Isabel'... daughter of Robert Redford's character 'Jim Grant'... not his granddaughter.

    1. Hi Chuck
      Thank you for your comments. Actually I'm very confused about what the filmmakers have done with the character of Isabel. In the book the daughter, Isabel, is 17, when she begins receiving emails from her dad, Jason Sinai/Jim Grant. He tries to explain why he had to leave when she was just 7 years old and he engages her in frank and mature emails. I know Jackie Evancho is a beautiful and talented young lady with a huge fan base but I can't understand why they would cast an 11 or 12 year old as the daughter of the 76 year old Redford. As I've said, I'm a Redford fan but to be honest I'm uncomfortable with the way Hollywood has no trouble presenting aging male actors in really unrelateable ways. Of course, a man Redford's age could have a daughter this young - especially here in Hollywood - but I don't understand why as in this particular case it veers dramatically from the novel.

    2. PS Chuck, I updated with your correction. Thanks! I appreciate your feedback; I think it adds to the overall appreciation of both the book and the film.

  4. I know this is a story book based on fiction but my question is dose it follow the true life events of the

    1970s radical freed from US jail
    Police booking photo of Sarah Jane Olson, a.k.a. Kathleen Soliah, June 1999
    Olson was captured in 1999 after police received a tip-off
    A woman who spent 24 years on the run before pleading guilty to a 1975 attempted police car bombing, has been released after a seven-year jail term.

    Sara Jane Olson, formerly known as Kathleen Soliah, was a member of the militant Symbionese Liberation Army.

    The group became famous for kidnapping newspaper heiress Patty Hearst in 1974.

    Olson also pleaded guilty to the second degree murder of a woman during a 1975 bank raid. She spent her fugitive years living as a housewife in Minnesota.

    Early release

    The police finally caught her in 1999, acting on a tip-off prompted by a profile of Olson that had been broadcast on the TV program America's Most Wanted.

    In 2001 she was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the attempted police car bombings and six years for the second-degree murder charge, to be served concurrently.

    The union representing Los Angele's police officers has expressed disappointment at the decision to release Olson before the end of her prison term.

    "She needs to serve her full time in prison for these crimes and does not deserve time-off for working in prison," said Los Angele's Police Protective League President Tim Sands.

    Olson's lawyer defended the decision, saying "she earned time for her good behavior in prison - she wasn't treated any differently than anybody else".

    The Symbionese Liberation Army formed in Berkeley, California in the 1970s, committed to fighting against what it said was an oppressive governmental regime.

    The group carried out a series of bombings, murders and robberies before most of its members were killed in a dramatic fire in 1974 after a gun battle with Los Angele's police.

  5. I hope one day Hollywood will make extraordinary move to base movies on some of America historical events like, Hannah Crafts and The Bondwoman's Narrative ,http://books.google.com/books?id=oMzigEUl5mYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Hannah+Crafts+,+The+BondWOMAN%27S+nARRATIVE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3aVNUYWEOOS90gHflIH4Bw&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Hannah%20Crafts%20%2C%20The%20BondWOMAN%27S%20nARRATIVE&f=false , By Henry Gates Jr.
    Angela Davis recalls struggle in the Civil Rights Movement
    Posted: Feb 13, 2013 5:40 PM EST Updated: Mar 15, 2013 5:40 PM EDT
    By Steve Crump - bio | email

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    Activist Angela Davis is a gracious woman has the ability to light up a room and warm up a waiting crowd.

    Today's crowd filled the seats at uptown's Booth Playhouse was made up of CMS students.

    She said, "I learned very early on how dangerous it was that time to stand up for justice and equality."

    Life's first hard lessons would come in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.

    It was a place well known for its blatant and violent brand of segregation.

    However, as a high school student in New York, Davis would take on a civil rights cause that was born here in the Carolinas.

    "Every Saturday when I was in High School, I picketed Woolworths," Davis recalled. "Why? Because of the policies of Woolworths in the South."

    In the 60's, she was a sympathizer with those who were part of the sit-in movement, but by the 1970's activism with the Black Panthers got her in a lot of trouble.

    "I was charged with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy and I was placed on the F-B-I's 10 most wanted list," she said.

    She was eventually acquitted, and her wanted poster remains widely circulated on the internet."

    Davis said, "People all over the country got involved in the campaign to free Angela Davis."

    Many of those had a chance to touch the person they supported.

    Without question, she offered the most memorable storylines of the 1970's, and seeing a well known photo of herself at Gantt Center's" America I Am" exhibit inspires a remarkable personal journey.

    " I always felt inspired, because the spirit of struggle is with us. Whenever we're together it seems to rise up again."

    One day after the President's State of the Union address, Angela Davis offers these words of caution in what some call a post racial society.

    "As prisoners have often said, there may be one black man in the White House, but that doesn't cancel out the fact that there are a million black men in the big house."

    Davis who has a PhD in Philosophy is a very much in demand speaker.

    Last Month, she turned 69.

  6. Hi Linn
    You've certainly provided some great historical context. Yes, Gordon's character, Sharon Solarz reads like she's loosely based on Kathleen Soliah. I'm about 1/3 way through the novel; much of the actions of the left - and extreme left groups - are seen in the rearview mirror. So far at least, Gordon shows how these characters lived 'underground' after their infamous actions and how eventually they came to surface. It's a fascinating historically-based thriller, the emotional impact quadrupled because the main character, Jason Sinai aka Jim Grant, has a daughter to protect. The movie comes out in April; I'm a little concerned about Redford's age but otherwise and eager to see this one.


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