Up in the Air Movie Review

Smart and funny, this breezy and bittersweet drama carries dark resonance for a society caught in the middle of both recession and downsizing. And Clooney couldn't be more perfectly cast in this role.

Ryan Bingham (Clooney) sacks people for a living. As he flies around America trying to soften the blow, he connects with a sexy businesswoman (Farmiga) and starts a side job leading motivational sessions about minimising the baggage in your life. He also builds up a whopping frequent flier account. So when his boss (Bateman) hires efficiency expert Natalie (Kendrick) to streamline the downsizing business, he feels the rug being pulled out from beneath him.

The film opens with inventive sequences showing peoples' reactions to losing their jobs and Ryan's economical system for navigating an airport. We immediately understand that he has no interest in settling down; indeed when we see his Omaha apartment, it's even less homey than the hotel rooms. Ryan lives an envious free life, unencumbered by people or things, so of course we know he's about to learn an important life lesson.

Fortunately, Reitman and Turner's script takes an intelligent approach, using sharp jabs of humour and some vivid characters. A story strand involving Ryan's sisters gives the film some direction, as the older Kara (Morton) coordinates the wedding of the younger Julie (Lynskey), unambiguously showing that Ryan has removed himself from their lives. And it's Natalie who provides the catalyst that forces Ryan to look at himself.

Reitman wisely focuses on characters rather than plot, refusing to indulge in sentimentality until it's earned. This gives Clooney one of his best roles: charming, clever and funny are the things he does best, and he develops snappy and unpredictable rapport with both Farmiga and Kendrick. These two actresses make their strong female characters unforgettable by continually upending the stereotypes.

So even if the film takes a couple of corny turns as it takes us on a lively tour of America's cities, the characters and themes are thoroughly involving.

And also wonderfully entertaining. We can't help but identify with people who are worrying about their futures--both those who are suddenly unemployed and the central characters who are just realising that their lives could use a change.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : Jeffrey Clifford, Daniel Dubiecki, ,

Comments

Up in the Air Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: 15, 2009

Advertisement

More George Clooney

George Clooney is Deserved Recipient of Golden Globes' Lifetime Achievement

George Clooney, the Oscar-winning actor and producer, is to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award at next year's Golden Globes. Clooney will pick up...

George Clooney Set To Receive The Cecil B. DeMille Award at The 2015 Golden Globe Awards

At the moment George Clooney’s personal and professional life couldn’t be going any better! As well as preparing to marry Amal Alamuddin in Venice, Italy,...

George Clooney to Star in Special Episode of 'Downton Abbey'

George Clooney, the Oscar-winning American actor, has signed on to star in a special episode of ITV's 'Downton Abbey'. Clooney will play a visiting guest...

George Clooney Plans To Tie The Knot With Amal Alamuddin In Italian Wedding

Ever since news broke that Hollywood lothario George Clooney got engaged to his British girlfriend Amal Alamuddin in April, there has been hardly any details...

Advertisement

George Clooney Going after News Corp with Phone Hacking Movie

Oscar-winner George Clooney is ready to put the disappointment of The Monuments Men behind him and dive straight back into directing, helming a film about...

George Clooney To Take On Phone Hacking Scandal On Big Screen

Uh-oh, bad day to be a journalist involved in the phone hacking scandal; George Clooney is coming for you. The actor-turned-director has chosen the events...

George Clooney Still Suffering From Back Injury Sustained In 2005 Movie 'Syriana'

Almost ten years have passed since George Clooney executive produced and starred in the Oscar-nominated thriller film 'Syriana,' and he is still suffering from the...

How Sandra Bullock Became The Highest Paid Actress In Hollywood

The results of Forbes annual celebrity rich list are in and it is with a certain amount of surprise thatSandra Bullockwas the highest paid film...

Advertisement