Up in the Air
December 24, 2009
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Ever since Jason Reitman’s first film Thank You for Smoking, I’ve come to enjoy the drama AND the comedy that he pulls from the script. Juno brought everyone else around to what genius Reitman is capable of making. Up in the Air is no exception. This is a movie in which the destination isn’t known ahead of time and you don’t even care. It’s the journey.
Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a surgeon when it comes to the delicate art of firing someone. He lives to be on the road, or in this case, in the air. He prefers to live from a suitcase and keep all parts of his life compartmentalized as such. Early on we are introduced to our 2 female supporting actresses. Both brilliant in there roles, especially Anna Kendrick. Kendrick plays an up-and-comer that has a new idea for the company that will eradicate Bingham’s lifestyle. Bingham is forced to take her on the road and educate her as to why his way is more effective than hers. All the while, Bingham is seeing Alex (Vera Farmiga), a woman who is his female dopelganger.
Kendrick effortlessly plays opposite Clooney and walks the fine line between keeping up and completely stealing the show (though she did steal most of her scenes. Something difficult to do from Clooney). Having recently been in New Moon, it’s refreshing to see someone from The Twilight Saga who can act. I truly hope her Globe nom for this picture takes her to the greater prestige of Oscar nom. Ditto for Farmiga. A veteran of the genius The Departed from a few years ago, she is definitely deserving of a nom.
But in truth, the three central characters; Clooney, Farmiga, and Kendrick, transform the movie and make you enjoy it all the more. The characters feel built in a way that we can all see a piece of ourselves in each of them, making the film that much more enjoyable. And by opening and closing the movie with testimonials of real people who have been “let go”, adds gravitas as a means to convey the harsh reality of our economy today. 4.5 out of 5 stars.