Sunday, January 03, 2010

George Clooney hits a home run with "Up in the Air"

Starring George Clooney, and directed by Juno director Jason Reitman, Up in the Air is an outstanding film. Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, who has a job where he fires people for a living. He is based out of Omaha, Nebraska but is on the road for most of the year flying from one city to another. He is obsessed with collecting frequent flyer miles, and his goal is to reach 10 million. There is plenty of product placement for airlines, rental car companies, hotel chains, and the like. Bingham has no desire to get married, have kids, or "settle down" in any respect. He gives speeches about living a simplified life where we are not weighed down by possessions or obligations. He is a man who lives a detached life. Vera Farmiga plays a woman he meets on the road who is looking for the same thing he is; a fling with no strings attached. Anna Kendrick plays a hot shot young go getter who is sent on the road with Clooney so he can show her the ropes of how to do the job. She has suggestions to the boss about how they can save money, and these ideas may keep Clooney from travelling in the future. In this era of companies downsizing, the film seems especially relavent. The cast also includes Jason Bateman as Clooney's boss and Melanie Lynskey (Rose from Two and a Half Men), as Clooney's about to be married sister whom he hardly knows. The movie is good since it has a mix of romance, comedy, and drama, and there are not weak parts of the script or lackluster performances. The story makes you think about how we go about living our lives. Look for this to be honored by the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.
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