Saturday, April 3, 2010

Up in the Air (2009) R - 3½ Stars

While I though this was a good movie, I also found it depressing as hell. A look into one man's life goal being on top, keeping baggage to a minimum allowing him the freedom of non committal relationships, and falsehoods of what's important in life. It takes two completely different woman to make him realize having it all up in the air is equal to not much down on the ground. Clooney does play this role great and I thought Farmiga was perfect complementing him. Maybe Kendrick was supposed to be playing a ditsy character and at first I found it annoying but as she loosens up and lets her hair down, she is great too. The movie is almost a self help book on film proving once again that success is nothing if you don't have family and friends to share it with. It also shows were the future of corporate America might be headed. Seems like a pretty chicken shit way to let someone go.

Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), gets paid mega bucks to fly across country and fire people. When large companies are downsizing, Ryan is called to deliver the bad news. The perks of the job drop him in some pretty swank hotels. When he's not handing out pink slips, he giving energetic lectures on not being overburdened by the weight of our lives. He's flown so much, the frequent flyer miles have really added up and he's almost made his goal of ten million miles. He owns almost every preferred flyer credit cards, allowing him access where others can't go.

By chance he meets an attractive woman, Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga), and soon finds out she could be the female version of his clone. Producing her own elaborate set of credit cards, the two become quickly attracted to each other and wind up in bed. The night goes so well, they pencil each other into their busy schedules so they may meet again.

But being up in the air so much has it's drawbacks too as Ryan returns to his quiet small room he calls home. At the office the next day, he's introduced to Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) who's up and coming idea could help save the company millions. She's testing out the idea of handing out the pink slips remotely through computers and the Internet. Ryan's boss Craig Gregory (Jason Bateman), wants Ryan to take Natalie by the hand and show her the ropes so they can see if firing someone web cam to web cam will work. Since that would put a real cramp into Ryan's traveling routine, he convinces Craig to allow Natalie to go with him on a few trips to see if she's cut out for this job. And while he's away, again he hooks up with Alex. Neither Alex or Ryan tell about their lives so both assume this relationship is perfect. But Ryan soon learns his obsession of shinny cards renders him incapable of deep human bonding.

Nominated for 6 Oscar's - Awards include:

2009 - Washington D.C. Film Critics Association - Best Actor
2009 - National Board of Review - Best Picture
2009 - Florida Film Critics - Best Director
2009 - Chicago Film Critics Association - Best Adapted Screenplay

Rickshaw Productions, The Montecito Picture Company, Right of Way Films, DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures
Director: Jason Reitman
Writers: Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner
Producers: Joe Medjuck, Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock
I viewed 4/10

1 comment:

Castor said...

I thought Up in the Air was a good movie but not a great movie. It felt a bit too superficial and relied too heavily on George Clooney's innate charm and charisma to get through to the audience.