Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Up in the Air"

George Clooney's latest film Up in the Air is fantastic. While there aren't many bells and whistles, the film is heartfelt, and it emphasizes the importance of human relationships.

Juno director Jason Reitman takes on this adaptation of a comic novel by Walter Kirn. Ryan Bingham (Clooney) travels around the country firing people for a living. He lives out of a suitcase, and the sky is his home. His ultimate goal is to reach 10 million miles on American Airlines (having just acquired enough miles for my first free flight, I can kind of sympathize with his obsession).

Ryan has no real friends and isn't close to his family. He meets a woman, Alex Goran (Vera Famiga), who seemingly lives the same kind of carefree lifestyle.

The naive Natalie Keener (Twilight's Anna Kendrick) comes along and wants to change the way their company fires people from face-to-face to through the computer. After traveling with Ryan, she discovers how gruesome the job is. Natalie does, however, persuade Ryan to decide that he does want someone to share his life with - the problem is that he picked the wrong woman.

Clooney and Kendrick are both excellent in their roles and definitely deserving of their award nominations. Though the film is a bit of a downer at times, we are at least reminded that human relationships are what make life wonderful. I like Reitman's style, and the way that he showed changes in cities was very similar to Juno.

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