Thursday, December 3, 2009

Up In The Air Is By Far Clooney's Best

The classic Hollywood Road movie that we have all fallen in love with takes on a new direction with Jason Reitman's new film "Up In The Air," based on the novel by Walter Kirn we see the everyday man forced to deal with what every one secretly fears being terminated from his job and having no prospects to look forward to.

Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) is a corporate downsizing expert who is hired by employers to afraid to fire their own employees, Bingham comes in to help ease the transition of long-term employees from a daily work environment to the unemployment line. Bingham takes his job very seriously and he loves the 290 days he spends away from home each year, the only problem with this is the 75 days he is forced to spend at home in his empty apartment in Omaha Nebraska. Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) is a young upstart in the company who has come up with an idea to save the company money and her idea is to fire people over the internet, Bingham is shocked that his boss Craig Gregory (Jason Bateman) loves the idea of no longer sending his guys out on the road.

Ryan has issues with his family, he tries to avoid them at all costs, this is impossible since his younger sister, Julie (Melanie Lynskey) is getting married to Jim Miller (Danny McBride), his older sister, Kara (Amy Morton) has asked him to take a cardboard cutout of Julie and Jim around with him taking pictures of it at some of the more well known tourist sites. He agrees reluctantly, and goes out to fire people, Ryan has met a very nice older woman that he thinks can be someone special in his life, Alex (Vera Farmiga) is also a weary traveler and they click because they both have ideas of greatness when it comes to their collection of travel cards, and hotel keys. On the road with Natalie, trying to teach her that it takes a human to fire someone and not a picture of one on the internet in front of them, Natalie is confronted with the heartache that comes along with this endeavor. Being on the road takes it toll on both Ryan and Natalie, Alex is a staple in Ryan's life until the inevitable confrontation of ideals. Several shots were taken of real people interviewed and fired, their reactions are some of the best scenes in the movie.

Clooney plays confident and successful well but here he is allowed to also branch out and express the pent-up frustration that comes with an isolated loneliness, he has a passion for a job that seems horrible yet, he treats it with respect, he feels it is a job that should be taken seriously. The evolution Ryan undertakes is really pretty amazing and credit goes to where it is due, to both Reitman, and Clooney for pulling it off with grace and laughter. The thing that really stands out in this movie is that it doesn't get the standard happy Hollywood cliche ending, everything doesn't turn out ok in the end and life seldom does, Kendrick's plays the naïve Natalie to masterfully. She was at the top of her class, and able to get a job in her field wherever her heart desired, yet settled for this firm specializing in firing people, but her eyes are opened to the intimacy and fragility with which a person's mental state can be affected by mere words, and she becomes a better person for it.

I give Up In The Air a 4 and on my avoidance scale a 0, this movie will open in limited run and should be searched out it is well worth the time it will take you to find where this gem is playing. Up In The Air is hilariously funny almost every second of the way, but yet it is still unafraid to dig into the dark moments of life and treat them with the respect and relevancy they deserve. George Clooney is my front runner for a Best Actor Oscar, Reitman should also be a strong contender for a Best Director nod, Up In The Air is on the short list of Best Picture of the year as well. It is a sad thing that 2009 has had very few pictures so far that can be called Best Picture of the year, but if any one can contend with Precious it is Up In The Air.

Up In The Air is rated R for Language and Some Sexual Content
Running time is 1 hr. 49 mins.

1 comment:

reggie said...

Up In The Air
Hey you know it is awarded as a best movie of this year. Really it is very awesome and marvelous movie. I just love to watch up in the air movie repeatedly.