The Company (film)

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The Company
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Altman
Produced byRobert Altman
Joshua Astrachan
Neve Campbell
Pamela Koffler
David Levy
Christine Vachon
Screenplay byBarbara Turner
Story byBarbara Turner
Neve Campbell
StarringNeve Campbell
Malcolm McDowell
James Franco
Music byVan Dyke Parks
CinematographyAndrew Dunn
Edited byGeraldine Peroni
Distributed bySony Pictures Classics
Release date
  • December 26, 2003 (2003-12-26)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million[1]
Box office$6.4 million[1]

The Company is a 2003 American drama film directed by Robert Altman with a screenplay by Barbara Turner from a story by Turner and star and co-producer Neve Campbell. The film also stars Malcolm McDowell and James Franco, and is set in the company of the Joffrey Ballet.


The Company is composed of stories gathered from the dancers, choreographers, and staff of the Joffrey Ballet. Most of the roles are played by company members. While a small subplot relates a love story between Campbell's character and a character played by James Franco, most of the movie focuses on the company as a whole, without any real star or linear plot. The many company stories woven together express the dedication and hard work that dancers must put into their art, although they are seldom rewarded with fame or fortune.


The part of Alberto Antonelli was reportedly inspired by the real life dancer and choreographer Gerald Arpino.[2]



The Company was an idea of Campbell's for a long time—she began her career as a ballet dancer, having been a student at Canada's National Ballet School.[3] Altman was initially reluctant to direct the film, reportedly remarking, "Barbara, I read your script and I don't get it. I don't understand. I don't know what it is. I'm just the wrong guy for this."[2] The director eventually relented, however, and The Company turned out to be his penultimate film. Neve Campbell and James Franco prepared for their roles as restaurant workers by training under Mickaël Blais, the chef of Marche, an upscale bistro in Chicago.[4][5]

Dance lighting[edit]

Dance lighting for the Joffrey Ballet portions was composed by the dance lighting designer Kevin Dreyer.

Pieces in the film[edit]

Excerpts of the following dance pieces are included in the film:


Box office[edit]

The Company was given a limited release on December 25, 2003, earning $93,776 in eleven theaters over its opening weekend. The film ultimately grossed $2,283,914 in North America and $4,117,776 in foreign markets, bringing its worldwide box office total to $6,401,690—well below its estimated $15 million budget.[1]

Critical response[edit]

The Company received a mostly positive response from critics. The film currently holds a 71% positive "Fresh" rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus, "Its deliberately unfocused narrative may frustrate some viewers, but The Company finds Altman gracefully applying his distinctive eye to the world of dance."[9]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the film, awarding it ​3 12 stars out of four.[2] Ed Gonzalez of Slant Magazine similarly declared it the best movie of 2003.[10] Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times called the film "enjoyably lithe and droll" and attributed a "great deal of the film's appeal" to McDowell's performance, while opining that the film "doesn't stick with you as a whole."[11]


  1. ^ a b c "The Company". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Ebert, Roger (December 24, 2003). "The Company". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  3. ^ Murray, Rebecca. "Neve Campbell Interview - The Company Movie". Retrieved January 27, 2007.
  4. ^ About Mickaël Blais
  5. ^ Molly Woulfe for NWI Times, November 22, 2002 Pirate flicks still shiver his timbers
  6. ^ a b c Leland Windreich for Ballet-Dance Magazine, January 2004 'The Company': Fleeting Events in a Dancer's World
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Mary Ellen Hunt for Ballet-Dance Magazine, January, 2004 'The Company': Altman's take on the Joffrey is artsy, not artistic
  8. ^ Office credits for The Company
  9. ^ "The Company (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  10. ^ Gonzalez, Ed (December 14, 2003). "The 10 Best Films of 2003". Slant Magazine. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  11. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (December 25, 2003). "Behind Smooth Footwork, Some Abrasive Gossip". The New York Times. Retrieved April 15, 2016.

External links[edit]