Say what you like about Robert Redford‘s directorial efforts (like, for instance, that “Quiz Show” aside, they very closely replicate the experience of watching paint dry. Underwater), but he knows how to stack a film with a cast of ringers. Even a film as dull as his recent “The Conspirator” was able to attract names like James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson and many more, mainly drawn by the opportunity to work with one of the all-time great movie stars.
Redford’s stepping in front of the camera for his next directorial feature, the thriller “The Company You Keep,” and that’s only seemed to be more incentive, as a frankly awesome cast has assembled for the tale of a former Weather Underground militant exposed by an ambitious journalist (Shia LaBoeuf), and forced to go on the run. Nick Nolte, Brit Marling, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Richard Jenkins and Stephen Root have all come in to support, presumably as part of some kind of Oscar-nomination counting contest, and now they’ve been joined by two more of the very best character actors around.
Screen Daily reports that the great Stanley Tucci, and the equally great Chris Cooper have both signed on to the project, which starts shooting shortly in Vancouver. Tucci will pay LaBoeuf’s editor, while Cooper will play Redford’s brother, who looks after his niece (presumably the role Marling’s taken) after her father goes on the lam.
Any film is improved exponentially with the presence of either Tucci or Cooper, so this one just got a little better, even considering the impressive names already on board. Hopefully, a script by Lem Dobbs (“The Limey,” “Haywire“) will lead to something with a bit more of a pulse than Redford’s more recent pictures; we should find out some time in 2012.