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Movie Review - Up In The Air (George Clooney)

Updated on February 20, 2010

This movie with George Clooney, Anna Kendrick, and Vera Farmiga, is about Ryan Bingham, who fires people for a living. Ryan Bingham is played by Clooney. Other companies hire him and his colleagues to deal with firing their staff, rather than doing it themselves. Due to the recession he is very busy and flies all over the US to meet his clients and the unlucky people he is firing. Because of this Ryan spends most of his time up in the air, and he loves his life so void of human relations.

But when newbie, just-out-of-school Natalie Keener comes into the company she is about to revolutionise the system. She wants to stop firing people in face to face conversations, instead she is setting up computer screens to make use of video conferencing, so no one has to leave the office to fire people all over the US. But Ryan loves his job, and loves the fact that he spends most of his time up in the air, and in hotels. The fact that he met an incredible woman named Alex (Vera Farmiga), who seems to lead the same lifestyle, also plays a part in his objections to working from an office. He loves the flying and is on his way to collect a record number of air miles. He travels efficiently, never losing more time on check-ins than necessary, and his whole life effectively packed in one little suitcase. He has an apartment in Omaha, but only spends a couple nights a year actually sleeping there. So he heavily objects against modernizing their business. As a result he gets to take Natalie around the country to teach her the finer art of the business of firing people. But young Natalie holds up a mirror for Ryan, showing him his life is empty and without any human connections. In turn Alex and Ryan try and teach the yong Natalie some life lessons as well.

The movie was based on a novel by Walter Kirn, and adapted to fit the screen by Sheldon Turner and Jason Reitman. The movie did not really hold my interest. Clooney plays a confident male, a bit like he always does. Although at the end of the movie he starts unravelling a little, he never totally loses control. Anna Kendrick apparently received an award for her role in this movie, and every now and then I do see why, but just not often enough. Her face is very expressive, but the way she cried at one point in the movie was over the top ridiculous. It is supposed to be a light comedy, but doesn’t really pull the comedy off. Also it is too long, at the end I got bored, just waiting for it to finally finish. Vera Farmiga and George Clooney are great actors, it is just this movie that is not that interesting. Jason Reitman, the director, really tried, but just did not manage to keep it moving and interesting until the end.


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