Film Review – Up In The Air
Up in the Air stars George Clooney as Ryan Bingham, a traveling “termination manager” – he flies around the country working for companies downsizing and he fires people. He’s on the road (or the air) 95% of his time and actually complains if he has to spend time at home. His family doesn’t see him, he doesn’t get tied down with relationships or responsibility or commitments, and one day, his company decides they’re going to shift to an online version of what he does. Clearly he’s not happy.
Natalie, a recent college grad (and one of the hot underage girls from Twilight), has talked Ryan’s boss into doing the firing virtually and saving the company tons of money in expenses. Ryan unwillingly takes Natalie along on one of his trips so she can see how what he does matters to people in person. She’s a little taken aback by some of the employees reactions to being let go, since one of them go by the book. Ryan is working a book deal on the side, as well as speaking engagements, and also finds himself in the beginnings of a relationship with a woman named Alex (Vera Farmiga from The Boy in the Striped Pajamas). Vera rocks his world in a good way and Natalie rocks his world in a bad way. Ryan gets invited to a relative’s wedding and invites Vera. Things get all girly and I heard people in the theater crying openly. Uncomfortable… Anyway, things don’t go as planned with either girl, and Ryan finds himself back in the old routine.
The film is quite good, though it is very depressing and slow paced – intentionally. I really enjoyed the acting in it and it’s likely a very good portrayal of life on the road. There were times I thought the music was a bit odd and sometimes distracted from the scenes, but take that with a grain of salt since I’m a musician from way back. Great shots of the cities they travel to, which are numerous and are well portrayed (except for Omaha, which is tough to portray well – suck it, Nebraska). For the girls who are Clooney fans, he occasionally shows up in a robe or shirtless, but you’re likely to be depressed by the whole thing. That being said, it’s still a worthwhile film.
(3 out of 5 fus)