Up In The Air

Up In AirThe more I think about it, the more I like this movie. And it’s not JUST because of George Clooney, though he does carry most of the movie on his broad shoulders. His female co-stars, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick do an admirable job playing off Clooney in very different and interesting ways. Whenever the movie starts to border on cliché, it tends to take a surprising turn. Here’s the basic plot: Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a guy who lives out of a suitcase and likes it that way. His job is to jet into a city, tell people they’ve been laid off, hand them a severance packet, and get out of town. He racks up the frequent flier, luxury hotel, and rental car points… enjoys the privileges of elite status… and shares a ‘no-strings’ bond with a road-warrior soulmate (Farmiga). Clooney

But his entire way of life is jeopardized when a former intern named Natalie (Kendrick) convinces the boss (Jason Bateman) that it would be way more efficient to fire people remotely, via web-cam. The boss sends Bingham on one final roadtrip, with Natalie in tow. And vintage Clooney ensues. He somehow manages to be sympathetic while doing what seems like the most unsympathetic things. He learns from Natalie, and she learns from him. And it’s all done in a very bittersweet, age-appropriate way.

Up In The Air is co-written and directed by Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) who’s gotten pretty good at balancing the humor, satire and poignancy of his characters and subject matter. In this case, it’s a movie about personal baggage (literally and figuratively), the meaning of ‘home’ and family, and the arbitrary harshness of the current economic climate. There’s something for everyone to identify with in this movie. It’s not always an easy pill to swallow, but it definitely goes down smoother with Clooney at the helm. It’s a holiday movie that isn’t too heavy or too light and makes a great choice for a date night, a group outing, or a solo matinee. Thanks George!

4 Comments

  1. Stephen Agetstein, November 27, 2009:

    OK, you got me hooked. Got me intrigued. After reading your take I took a look at the Apple trailers and I’m gonna take your advice and check the flick out. Oh my god, should I be questioning my sexuality?

  2. Mainstream Chick, November 27, 2009:

    No worries! The Chicks aim to convey perspectives that will (hopefully) be beneficial to their male AND female readers! And comments are welcome from all! 🙂

  3. Adventurous Chick, December 17, 2009:

    I loved this movie. The performances were outstanding and what a great twist at the end. Clooney can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned even when he’s playing a commitment-phobe corporate ax-man. And I agree with Mainstream Chick that Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick do a great job of keeping up with George on screen. I read that most of the characters who were laid off in the movie were actually real people who had lost their jobs. No wonder their performances were so “real.” Fabulous. I highly recommend the movie to all chicks and non-chicks alike.

  4. Arty Chick, January 4, 2010:

    I finally got to see this today. What a great movie! One of the best, if not THE best of the year and I agree that Clooney is wonderful (as usual.) I was impressed by both the female leads and hope that Anna Kendrick gets the roles that were going to Amy Adams because she has the same cute, perkiness, but also the ability to give some depth. Such smart writing and the direction from the opening credits until the end was just perfectly timed. I can’t find any fault with this one, and that is rare for me. 🙂

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