Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Review: Up In The Air

Grade: A+

Up In The Air is about a man, Ryan Bingham, whose job is a corporate downsizer, in other words he fires people for a living. Having to deal with letting people go and dealing with their anguish, hostility and despair has left Ryan, for lack of a better word, distant. He refuses to make close personal connections to anyone, including his own family, even giving seminars about doing just that. Ryan is on the road, flying from city to city for 320 days a year, he lives out of a finely packed suitcase and loves every minute of it. When his company hires young determined Natalie who comes up with a new way of firing people that will take him off the road, forcing him to settle down and live in his small one bedroom apartment, he becomes determined to show her the error of her logic and takes her across the country to help him fire people in person. Along the way Natalie begins to discover the depressing and disheartening reality of her profession and Ryan begins to see the errors of his own way of life and realizes that connections are important.

This movie was absolutely brilliant. Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) directs his best movie yet. Up In The Air is a beautifully shot movie thanks to Reitman. He was just nominated for a Golden Globe for best director for this movie and it is very easy to understand why. The writing for the movie was fantastic as well. This movie really covers the emotional spectrum from happiness to depression to excitement to dread, it was all shown so beautifully through the writing and direction of it all.

George Clooney (Burn After Reading, Michael Clayton) plays the lead role of Ryan Bingham. I believe this is George Clooney' best performance to date. He does an amazing job of showing Ryan's emotional distance and his vulnerabilities. Clooney has been nominated for a Golden Globe for this performance and I believe he will be nominated for an Oscar as well. Vera Farmiga (Orphan, The Departed) plays Alex, a fellow frequent traveler whom Ryan meets and starts to become attached to. Vera does a wonderful job with this role, she is smart and witty and inspirational at times. Relative new comer Anna Kendrick plays the role of Natalie Keener, a young determined woman who came up with the idea of firing people over webcam. Anna Kendrick was spectacular in this movie, she showed true promise of a great career to come. She did a great job showing how strong her character showed she was but how helpless at times she really felt. I hope great things come to her after this role. The movie also features great appearances by Jason Bateman, Melanie Lynskey, Danny McBride, Sam Elliot, J.K. Simmons and Zack Galifianakis.

The title of this movie has a double meaning that says it all, sometimes it feel like everything we thought we knew is Up In The Air. What you thought was one thing could turn out be something completely different. This movie is wonderful and a must see for 2009. I rank it as one of the best movie of 2009, simply great movie going experience. I strongly encourage everybody to so see this movie as soon as they can.

Great quote: "Some animals were meant to carry each other to live symbiotically over a lifetime. Star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not swans. We are sharks."

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