Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Up In The Air review
The story of Up In The Air is very timely because the fastest growing industry in today's economy is corporate downsizing. At least someone is making money. Ryan Bingham (Clooney) travels all over the US as an exit counsellor. He fires people for a living. One would think that this profession would be depressing. But Bingham is oddly dispassionate about his work. He goes in. He gives the bad news. He doesn't take the reaction personally. And then he boards another plane and goes to his next assignment. He's on the road 300 days a year so he doesn't really have a home. His apartment would depress anyone. He takes a lot of pride in the perks of constant airfare like bonus programs. Of course this doesn't leave much room for relationships until he meets a female road warrior named Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga). They turn a one night stand into a long distance Blackberry relationship. They spend more time figuring out where to meet than the time they spend together. Meanehile, his boss Craig Gregory (Jason Batemen) wants everyone to come home. To save money, they have decided to offer their services by remote control. This lamebrained idea comes from new employee Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick). Bingham doesn't like it but Gregory convinces him to take Natalie on the road and show her the ropes. So with his road warrior days seemingly coming to an end, Bingham is thinking of settling down with his soulmate Alex. So he invites her to come to his sister's wedding in Wisconsin. Things don't work out as planned and Bingham wonders what to do next.
Up In The Air is a thought provoking film. Is Ryan Bingham lonely or just a loner? Probably a little of both. But Clooney plays the character in a very confident way and that's why there is some doubt about Bingham's mindset. Vera Farmiga has worked mostly in smaller film roles and she really delivers in what is probably her biggest role to date. Anna Kendrick is known to Twilight fans but I really enjoyed her performance. I had never seen her before. In his films to date, Jason Reitman has shown a real attention to detail and there's no question that he is poised to be one of the great directors of this generation. It's a top quality story driven film that I think most folks will enjoy. And it will have you asking questions of yourself when it's over. Check out the trailer for Up In The Air. Depending on the weather, I'm hoping to see some more films over the holidays.