Up in the Air – 6.5

Ryan Bingham spends his time “Up in the Air”, literally. In this unique storyline film, Ryan Bingham who is played by George Clooney, has a different and not so sought after job, one which keeps him on the road and flying over 250 days a year but one which he cherishes. It forces him to live out of his suitcase, which is methodically packed, and live out of airports which he calls home. Alongside him in this Drama/Comedy are Vera Farmiga (The Departed) who plays Alex Goran, his love interest and a business woman whose life is the spitting image of his own, Anna Kendrick who plays Natalie Keener (Twilight), the young, go-getter who becomes his co-worker and colleague, and Jason Bateman (Couples Retreat, Extract, Juno) playing the part of Craig Gregory, his boss.

Ryan Bingham spends so much time in the air because he works for a professional “corporate downsizing” company. His company is hired by corporations who have employees needing to be fired or let go but don’t have the gumption to handle the situation themselves. Basically, Ryan is the deliverer of bad news and therefor must know how to converse in sensitive situations and how to handle people. Being that he is on the road nearly 300 days a year he also needs to know the in’s and out’s of airline and airport travel. We, as the general public hate airports and the series of events which precede a flight but Ryan Bingham has mastered this to a specific science. He is in a different city and state at the least on a daily basis making him a ghost to his family and absent from a life with any commitment. This is by choice and because of his lifestyle he feels happy and surrounded though his family and the rest of the world view him as extremely reserved and disconnected. When his boss (Jason Bateman) informs him of the company’s new approach to their work which was introduced by the new addition to the company Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) and how his time spent traveling will no longer be necessary or allowed, Ryan fights for the life he loves, a life on the go. He is granted his request with one exception, he is to take and train Natalie. Of course she has far from mastered the “art of travel” as Ryan sees it and is a disaster and a nuisance but he has no choice but to allow her to tag along. As the movie unfolds you see the education of Natalie in business life as well as real life and you see what appears to be a perfectly suited relationship between he and his female form Alex (Vera Farmiga). You see the life transformation Ryan Bingham undergoes, some forced and some chosen.

The set was simple and costumes were no difficulty as they required simple business attire. Because of this the remaining aspects of the film were going to have to do the job of making this a hit. The characters were unique and fairly deep and were cast well. The music and directing were neither great nor terrible but somewhere in between and I am not sure that will do the trick.

There was more language and crudeness than I had anticipated and I really didn’t see it had a necessary place. The idea of there being an art or science to traveling and seeing it mastered along with Anna Kendrick’s character Natalie were the real bread winners in this show. Though this is atop the charts on the Best Picture hopefuls for this years Oscar’s, I feel most will be somewhat let down upon seeing it as I was. It simply wasn’t as good as I had hoped.

1 thought on “Up in the Air – 6.5”

  1. I watched the trailer last week and your right, i didn’t think it looked good or bad if you know what i mean, i think ill wait until it come out on DVD to watch it

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