Astrology: Film: ‘The Company You Keep’ (2013)

Sony Pictures Classics

At some point, people’s pasts catch up with them, or they catch up with their pasts. In The Company You Keep, Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon), who in the late 1960s was a member of the Weather Underground, participated in a robbery that resulted in a guard’s getting killed. After decades living under a false identity, she turns herself in to the authorities.

In no time at all, Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf), a brash, take-no-prisoners journalist, has sniffed out that respected lawyer Jim Grant (Robert Redford, who’s also the film’s director) is a former antiwar radical fugitive wanted for murder. Grant leaves his young daughter with his brother (Chris Cooper) and so begins his attempt to track down – with both the journo and FBI in hot pursuit – the only person who can clear him from that criminal charge.

It turns out that the fellow terrorist with this vital exonerating testimony is Mimi Lurie (Julie Christie), Grant’s former lover. Fixed in her assessment that what motivated their actions years ago is still valid today, she won’t budge, not even to save Grant.

The Company You Keep straddles the movie’s older characters’ past and present values. Venus determines what we value most. At a higher level, the things we hold in esteem are idealized through Neptune. Neptune, of course, also rules deceit and false identities, and complications are sure to arise when Uranus – guns, violence and other revolutionary behavior from the likes of the Underground – steps in to help turn those visions into the reality of a better world.

As one character says, “You can’t get to my age without some regrets.” Whether that means not doing enough or overdoing it is a sobering question.

Astrology Film Rating: ♀♆ (Venus, Neptune)

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