Up in the Air (2009)


Finally saw it after such a long wait!

Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) racks up major miles flying around the country firing employees on behalf of companies. But he faces losing the job he savors to Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) — and losing the ability to escape emotional ties to anything. A connection he builds with Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga), however, might change his outlook on the future.

This is the one film when I first saw the trailer, was barely at all impressed. Then after awhile the film started to get huge press, and well finally I gave it a look.

This is the third film from Director Jason Reitman, who has also done Thank You For Smoking and Juno, and gives a lot of his usual trade marks. The writing from Reitman is just flawless as it hits every note right, and makes this film seem so believable. The writing is funny, dark, and also very real which brings a lot more appeal to the film.

The whole problem I had with this film was that the characters never really transform into better and different people. I mean at the end of the film we never see how Clooney has transformed, and the whole ending just ends up being a very awkward execution.

Clooney does bring back the charm that made us fall in love with him early in his career, but he doesn’t go so deep for me. Yeah, he is a guy that understands his job and life, but never shows that he is actually taking it seriously and more of as a joke. Farmiga and Kendrick are great as the supporting cast ladies, and add a lot more romance to the film that doesn’t quite seem needed.

The one thing I really liked about this film that actually does do it for me is that its drama element to the film is genuine. The message that Reitman is trying to show us, doesn’t feel so preachy, and helps the movie I think. This film applies to so much of how Americans are feeling with the falling economy and its just so fresh to get somebody bring this message up so well.

Consensus: Up in the Air doesn’t convey the emotional depth it could have, but features very realistic writing, and a message from Reitman that isn’t preachy as much as it is true.

8/10=Matinee!!!!!

6 comments

  1. I don’t understand how you like the dialogue, but you didn’t like the performances that much.

    Anyway, the ladies were not in the book. The book was published in 2002 so Reitman and Turner wanted to update it to 2009.

  2. “The whole problem I had with this film was that the characters never really transform into better and different people. I mean at the end of the film we never see how Clooney has transformed, and the whole ending just ends up being a very awkward execution.”

    I’d beg to differ. Really think about the last few scenes, especially George Clooney in front of the destination board. They have all changed, though it may not be as big and flashy as you might hope. I think it really does take a second viewing to see and fully appreciate the subtleness of Reitman’s masterpiece.

  3. Marshall, I agree with what you said. For me, this film really hits on what is evident in our society today. Not just with the bad economy and job cuts, as you mentioned, Dan, but in our relationships with others. Ryan Bingham, the protagonist, is meant to relate to us and American culture. If Bingham has no true, meaningful relationships with others, what truths is this film revealing to us about ourselves?

    And in my opinion, I think Clooney did a superb job acting in this film. I think it’s the only time I’ve seen him as really vulnerable and noticeably affected by the events onscreen. The end of this film is particularly moving, and I think this deserved to win Best Picture (although I haven’t seen The Hurt Locker).

  4. Nice to see that we are (the few) in agreement. It felt quite superficial and although it’s a nice ride to share a couple hours with those guys, it definitely isn’t life changing like some pretend it is.

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