Let me be honest. If I had to get fired which I hope never happens, but if it did, I hope George Clooney would do the honor.
“Up in the Air” is a movie that hits close to home for many people who have faced unemployment in this past year. They might even have faced someone like Ryan Bingham played by George Clooney’s character. Ryan travels for most of the year, flying around the world and firing people from all walks of life. He has no girlfriend, an empty apartment that he sees maybe for two months out of the year and keeps little in touch with his family. He prefers to keep his backpack very light. Watch the movie to get this little joke.
George Clooney can do no wrong in my books. Its no surprise he gets Oscar nominations. He’s not that bad looking, but he really seals the deal with the way he delivers his lines. He’s an actor and knows how to do his job. He tells it just like it is and doesn’t want anyone distracting him from his path of gaining his ultimate goal of getting 10,000,000 miles. That’s right, marriage isn’t in his cards, getting his frequent fliers miles is though. Some might hate the waiting to check in, waiting in security, waiting to take off, but Ryan Bingham has already maneuvered the system to his advantage. The beginning montage of him packing his luggage, firing employees and giving a monologue of why he likes cheap sushi sells the movie for what it is, Bingham’s life is flying, it’s that and only that.
Besides Clooney who made the movie enjoyable, was the lovely Anna Kendrick. Yes, Anna Kendrick is in the horrible “Twilight” movies as the nonvampire Jessica who is a school mate of the vampire loving Kristen Stewart. Thank god she isn’t tied down to that movie because she was fabulous in this movie. Anna, it’s better to be known for a good movie and an oscar nomination and not some tween movie. Anna Kendrick played Natalie Keener who graduates from the top of her class and developed a computer system that would fire people without having to fly. Of course this is challenged by Clooney’s character and is forced by his boss to take her along for the rides of firing and flying, his only way to live. Her computer system would eliminate his way of life and that can’t happen for him. She and Clooney got the whole bickering partner thing down. They even after getting past the bickering, get into a relationship that police officers and their partners have with one another. They protect one another and watch out for one another. Soon Kendrick becomes second in command to Clooney and she doesn’t seem to mind it and neither did I.
Also with Clooney is Vera Farmiga who plays Alex Goran, a female clone of Clooney. They met each other and get into a heated debate about what hotel and car services has the best advantages. It’s even funnier when they schedule to meet up again by whipping out their laptops and consulting their flying schedules. They are always flying and have to work around that.
The film had the right amount of wit and right amount of drama. This film was reality on a film screen. It dealt with very real issues except that it seemed a little bit better with George Clooney manning the front.
Side note from imdb.com which is very interesting: With the exception of the famous actors, every person we see fired in the film is not an actor but a real life recently laid off person. The filmmakers put out ads in St. Louis and Detroit posing as a documentary crew looking to document the effect of the recession. When people showed up, they were instructed to treat the camera like the person who fired them and respond as they did or use the opportunity to say what they wished they had.
Side note #2: I was also a fan of the soundtrack.
Nominated for 6 oscars:
1. Best Director: Jason Reitman
2. Best Actor: George Clooney
3. Best Supporting Female Actor: Anna Kendricks
4. Best Supporting Female Actor: Vera Farmiga
5. Best Screenplay: Sheldon Turner and Jason Reitman
6. Best Picture