Up in the Air

Having been a well received, multiple Oscar nominated film, I had a few expectations going in.  Sadly, I was left a bit disappointed.

Director Jason Reitman adapted this film from the book of the same name.  I have a lot of respect for Reitman and the choices he has made in his young career.  This is the third picture he’s directed, following Thank You For Smoking and Juno

Up in the Air is a story about Ryan Bingham, played by George Clooney.  Bingham fires people for a living and travels over 250 days a year in order to do so.  He has managed to stay disconnected from people and his main goal in life is to achieve a milestone in frequent flier miles.  After being told by his boss that his company is going in a new direction that will end his traveling life, Bingham is forced to teach everything he knows about firing people to the woman responsible for changing his job.  Through his family and the women he is with on the road, he is forced to come to terms with how he’s chosen to live his life and what that means for his future.

Natalie Keener, played by Anna Kendrick, is the catalyst for the change taking place in Bingham’s company.  As she follows Bingham around the country on his last leg of personal firing, she confronts him about his distant and loner lifestyle.  Kendrick was really wonderful in this part.  She definitely held her own against Clooney and gave something to the character that I’m not sure a more well-known actress could have.  Kendrick was deserving of her Oscar nomination.

Vera Farmiga played Clooney’s love interest in this film and although she did a good job, I have no idea why she was nominated for an Oscar.  She played a no-nonsense, speak your mind kind of woman.  I think her character was a bit different from our ideas of typical female leads.  I believed Farmiga in this role, but I just didn’t see anything outstanding about it.

I was torn on Clooney’s performance in this film.  I liked seeing him more vulnerable towards the end, but the rest of the film I didn’t feel as though I was watching a character.  What I mean by that is, it didn’t seem much of a stretch for Clooney to play this role.  I’m not saying he didn’t act, but it just didn’t seem as though he needed to put forth much effort.  And I don’t mean that in a good way

Reitman is going to be one of the best directors of our generation.  He has an eye for making great films and his writing is just as good.  The supporting cast did a good job in this film and I’m a fan of directors who use actors in more than one of their films (Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons).

This film has its funny moments, but overall doesn’t leave you with the best feeling in the world.  I would still recommend seeing it though.  I will say that I’d like to see Clooney try something completely different from what he’s been doing.  I’d love to see him do an emotionally gripping drama or maybe even a family drama.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post