Peter Gerety is a well-known character actor in whom he has appeared Syriana, enemies of the state, Charlie Wilson’s warand dozens of other movies and TV shows, including Ray Donovan. Workers offers him his first leading role (at the age of 80!) alongside Talia Shire and Billy Brown. It’s a humble indie film that starts populistically with Frank Capra and then takes some surprising twists and turns. I missed it when it opened last spring and I’m glad I caught up with it now.
The setting is an archetypal American city where Gerety follows a never-changing daily routine and goes to work in a nearby factory with a lunch bucket and a thermos. When the facility suddenly closes without taking care of the staff, Gerety – who rarely speaks – refuses to change his pattern, shows up and sneaks into a back door to keep going to work every day. One morning a relative newcomer to town (Brown) arrives and soon several dozen others are by her side. They decide to take a stand, occupy the factory, and spend their days placing orders for the plastic parts they make.
Gerety’s character is silent, to say the least. He is finally forced to speak when his wife forces him to face reality – and circumstances that are beyond his control.
Workers is a credible feature film debut for writer and director Robert Jury and his actors come through for him. The plight of its characters is all too familiar, but there are a few twists in it that keep interest without putting undue strain on credibility. It’s not a perfect movie, but it’s worth a look. You can find it on many platforms including Vudu, DirecTV, and Amazon Prime.