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Plot: Ryan Bingham is a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles, and just after he's met the frequent-traveller woman of his dreams. Runtime: 109 min Release Date: 23 Dec 2009
George Clooney shows something he has never shown before. vulnerability. (by ctg0724)
Halfway through this movie I considered it an 8 out of 10 and decently spent money. The second half came as a big surprise. George Clooney let go of all his suave and let his eyes show fear and isolation that real people feel.There were two things going on in this movie. On one end, we were looking at the people getting fired. On the other end, we were seeing the problems with Ryan's way of life. The interviews at the end with the people who lost their jobs explaining that it was family and support that brought them through bad times hit a perfect note for bringing both parts of the story <more>
together.The title of this film literally explains what it is like to not know what aspects of your life are solid, such as a home or a significant other. Everything going on is simply up in the air. One day, what you thought was one way will turn out to be something else entirely.Best of Reitman's three. Very much recommend it.
So 2009, and the decade known as... what do we call this decade? , are ending later this month. And there is no better film to wrap up a frankly terrible decade in terms of news events, unemployment, the economy, the media stronghold, the trashing and dumbing down of American culture, technology, narcissism, vanity obsession, a divided nation, violence and hostility than Up in the Air. The film, the best I've seen all year and one of the best of the decade, captures many of the factors that made this decade the worst one, at least in my 42 years. The 70s may have been bad economically <more>
but hey, at least we had Bruce Springsteen and real music on the radio, women still seemed to like men and not only if the men were millionaires, thoughtful movies in the theater, and only five or so TV channels to pick from. Up in the Air features George Clooney as a man with no "roots," that is, no wife, no kids, and his apartment in Omaha is about as furnished as a room at Embassy Suites , who fires people for a living because the companies who hire him are too cowardly to do it themselves. It is a juicy role for Clooney, who has made a career out of playing easy-talking charmers. The film sounds depressing and in many ways it is, but it is also witty, quietly hilarious at times, and full of pathos when it becomes a morality piece near the middle and like the best morality pieces, it doesn't shove its message down your throat . It reminded me in many ways of American Beauty, the masterpiece that capped off the '90s when it hit theaters ten years ago. Clooney's character slowly is stripped of the things he only cared about--including a one-night-stand that becomes a "Same Time Next Year"-like meeting in Hampton Inns and Hiltons in Miami, Detroit, Wichita and other random cities, with another constant traveler we never know what exactly she does, and that's not supposed to matter played by Vera Farmiga, who may win an Oscar nomination for her mysterious, slightly passive and jaded, 30something character. The final important character is an eager young Cornell graduate played by Anna Kendrick, from Twilight who thinks that a career in firing people is a wise choice now, and in some respects she's not that far off. Her character represents many of the Twitter-obsessed twentysomethings driven for money money money, who live for texting, and has naive and even immature ideals of what makes a relationship work. But she too goes through a transformation, as Up in the Air reaches a "feel good while feeling bad" quality of Frank Capra's darker films, like Meet John Doe. One of the most amazing things about this film is its use of real people in the "firing scenes;" people who have really lost their jobs several weeks or months before being filmed. Director Jason Reitman combines scenes of these people being fired by Clooney and Kendrick, and their instant responses are wholly authentic. There are a few actors playing the "firees" as well, but they blend in with the real folks. I really can't think of a better film to cap off this decade. This one will stay with you. Highly recommended.
Another hit from the Director of Juno, Jason Reitman (by overcranked)
Anyone who has ever been fired must see "Up In The Air." Jason Reitman has done again. The director of "Thank You For Smoking" and "Juno" puts real life out there in an incredible way, where we all laugh and then walk out of the theatre thinking about what is really important. A film with a message that's entertaining: what a concept.George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a man that flies all over the country firing people for companies that don't have the spine to do it themselves. He is so proficient at it, when he meets his "expert traveler" <more>
equivalent, Alex Goran Vera Farmiga ; he is emotionally drawn to another person, beyond a passing interest, for the first time.Bingham's travels are a quest to be a traveling legend. When his company takes the advice of young newbie, Natalie Keener Kendrick , he is grounded, endangering his quest to achieve frequent flier miles that number in the, uh, stratosphere. When his boss Jason Bateman assigns him to "show her the ropes," so she can revolutionize the company's firing technology, the resulting road trip is not only riotously funny, it is a self-exploring journey into the three people's strengths and weaknesses. The life decisions they make are the emotionally important message of the film.The rest of the story must go untold, so you can savor every morsel from your own perspective. For that is what this film does best. Almost all of us have been canned. Sitting across the table, being told we'll be glad it happened, one day. Our participation in the film is subtle, as we sit across the table from Bingham as he cans us.The film's cast is like the story: they suck you in. Clooney is Clooney, like Cary Grant was Cary Grant. You think he's not acting, that's just who he is in real life. Maybe it is. Vera Farmiga's performance is seductively natural. You've met people like her. You admire her. Then you find out you don't know her at all. She is the mystery you wish you were. Anna Kendrick as Natalie is a perfect, perky, know-it-all that becomes all too human. Kendrick makes her character's transformation special parts of the film, when she could have easily have been regulated to a supporting character. This has become Reitman's trademark as a director. He empowers actors to make the movie their own.Up In The Air is a movie that is over before you want it to be. You want to get to know the characters better, to follow them around a little longer and make sure everything goes well for them. Another credit to Reitman for his extraordinary skill at taking the common things in life and make them extraordinary. Which makes us all feel better about the common-ness of our own lives.Written by: Vincent for Overcranked.net If you liked this come read more reviews http://www.overcranked.net/movies.php
I'm like my mother, I stereotype—it's faster Up in the Air (by jaredmobarak)
Based on the novel by Walter Kirn, George Clooney stars as corporate downsizing expert Ryan Bingham, who is hired to help ease the transition of long-term employees to the unemployment line across the country. Taking his job very seriously and loving the 290 days away from home—the only problem with that is the 70 days at home in his empty apartment—his world gets turned upside-down when a young upstart in the company threatens to ground the company to fire people via the internet. Not standing for a change in his life, nor the chance for his life goal of total airline miles to end, <more>
"Let's just say I have a number and I haven't hit it yet" , he goes on a mission to prove how personal his job is and how key a face to face meeting can be to talk down an emotionally unstable person and really do the victim a service in an otherwise horrible moment in his life. Along the way, he and the recent college grad, of which the boss loves due to her budget slashing game-changing idea, Natalie, played by Anna Kendrick, both find out what has been lacking in their lives and how to become better people, opening up to love, heartbreak, and the need to grow up.Clooney's Bingham is the loner businessman whose only relationships exist from random meetings with attractive females at the multiple airports he frequents. His wallet of plastic has become his lifeblood—credit cards from airlines that accumulate his mileage, hotel status perk cards that let him cut the disgruntled travelers and go straight to the front, and numerous room keys that never seem to be thrown out, causing him to always use more than one before finally opening his hotel suite's door. Detached from his family for years as the brother that exists but cannot be counted on for anything, he contemplates whether he should, or really wants to, attend his sister's wedding—the little girl of the family and someone he should have been involved with after the passing of their father. A series of style cramping incidents for him begins with a phone call from his other sister and the request to take a cardboard cutout of the happy couple, Melanie Lynskey and Danny McBride, in a role that might actually show some nuance for a guy that usually flies by the cuff , and photograph it in front of famous places he travels to for work "like that French gnome movie,"—I love the Amélie reference. Then comes the threat of being taken out of the air, his home for decades, in order to impersonally let go more people more efficiently; the challenge of taking Natalie on his next schedule of jobs to prove to her why the new system won't work; and the addition of a love interest in Vera Farmiga's Alex, a woman who describes herself to him with "just think of me as you with a vagina"—one of many great lines.There is a lot of subtlety and intricate weaving of plot lines throughout the story, details and sequences that need to be seen fresh to get the full benefit of the film. What you might initially think is a witty comedy about a jerk of a guy who not only thinks he's better than everyone else, but actually is, that either finds the error of his ways or gets dropped down a peg or two, eventually becomes a tale chock full of heart and emotion. The real success story of the film is a revelatory performance from Clooney who really knocks this on out of the park. He always showed the charisma and chops to play confident and successful, but here is allowed to also branch out and express the pent-up frustration that comes with isolated loneliness, the passion one can have for a job that seems horrible, yet, when treated carefully, is a job to take seriously, and the compassion for humanity on the whole, softening enough to realize that there are people around him that need help besides his laid off strangers, help that only he can provide. The evolution he undertakes is really pretty amazing and I credit Kirn, Reitman, and Clooney for pulling it off with grace and laughter.Every single actor is unforgettable—even the bit parts like Zach Galifianakis and especially J.K. Simmons as two corporate employees who's jobs have been eliminated. Jason Bateman is hilarious as Clooney's smug boss, fully embodying the take no crap nonchalance he made famous in "Arrested Development"; Farmiga is gorgeous and competent to be able to go toe-to-toe with Clooney in the detachment and power-hungry attitude of flying in style for half a year or more; and, if George's reinvention of character is revelatory, then Kendrick's naïve Natalie is masterful. This girl was top in her class, able to get a job in her field wherever her heart desired, yet settled for this firm specializing in firing people so as to not dirty the workers' real superior's hands. Young and confused about life in the big world of adulthood—set on a plan for marriage and children to occur as though set times on a clock—her eyes are opened to the intimacy and fragility with which a person's mental state can be affected by mere words. When you put them all together, Up in the Air resonates on so many levels; deserving of any praise and accolades to be bestowed upon it. Hilariously funny every second of the way, it is still unafraid to dig into the dark moments of life and treat them with respect and relevancy, going places you wouldn't think it would have the guts to go. You really can't say too much about the film, a top ten of the year entry for sure. Reitman proving to be a force to reckon with and Clooney that he just keeps getting better with age.
Director Jason Reitman, that has brought us great Indie classics such as Thank You for Smoking and Juno has crafted his most personal and most effective portrait to date, Up in the Air. The film stars George Clooney, also giving his most intimate and beautiful performance of his career, as Ryan, a traveling "Firing-Man," who plans on racking up as much frequent flyer miles as he can. Completely void of human connection and emotion, even from his two sisters, one of which is getting married, Ryan seems completely content with his choice of living. All seems well until he meets his <more>
female version in the beautiful and charismatic Alex, played with sexual force and intensity by Vera Farmiga. At the same time, a change at his job makes him acquire a student, Natalie, played with sensitivity and vigor by Anna Kendrick, to learn the ropes of the business before potentially making a devastating change to Ryan's way of life.The film, based on the book of the same title, is a moving and witty piece of cinema. The line deliveries given are some of the best liners of the year. The adaptation by Reitman and Sheldon Turner is of beautiful and social importance in today's day and age. There was no better time than now, to bring a film like this to the table. Dana E. Glauberman's crisp and precise editing sets the pace as we travel with Ryan in this beautiful account. Reitman's direction shows he's a force to be reckoned with and should be in full blown force for Oscar consideration along with the adaptation shared with Turner.George Clooney, who's having one hell of a year along with his other comedic turn in The Men Who Stare at Goats, gains sympathy and emotion from the viewer, which up until now, Clooney had always struggled for. The role is right up Clooney's alley and with humorous strength, conveys the pain and loneliness of an otherwise charming man successfully.Vera Farmiga as Alex, is a beautiful as she is dark, and as sexy as she is ugly. Farmiga has finally landed the right role that, in her years of wrong place at the wrong time, should land her a first-time Oscar nomination. Never showing her hand, Farmiga keeps and earns your trust, attention, and admiration. It's one of the most divisive and structurally brilliant supporting turns of the year. Seemingly not playing with a full deck is Natalie, played most beautifully by Anna Kendrick, who portrays brains don't equal smart choices. Kendrick earns your care and concern for the character, as she follows Ryan around and constantly badgers him about happiness and love, she naïvely and courageously shows the tenderest parts of youth in today's world. Kendrick will likely be sitting along side Farmiga at Oscar's ceremony.Jason Bateman, playing Craig Gregory, the boss in charge, is amusing in a brief but memorable role. Amy Morton and Melanie Lynsky, who play Ryan's sisters, are valuable and sufficient enough to book end a wonderful tale. Danny McBride, an outstanding comic talent to watch, is as good as ever. And finally, in otherwise cameos, Sam Elliott and the great Zack Galifianakis are uproarious in their respective roles.This could very well be the crowd and critical pleaser of the year. It has what the 2004 film Sideways lacked, the emotional edge. Long after the film, you take these characters home with you and remind yourself of its authenticity in delivery, poise, and premise. Up in the Air is one of the best pictures of the year. ****/****
Very enjoyable film, funny though the subject matter is serious (by cl777)
We watched Up in the Air yesterday, by director Jason Reitman of Thank You for Smoking and Juno fame with George Clooney and two great female actresses- Vera Farmiga playing George's love interest and Anna Kendrick as his overly zealous co-worker. It was nice to get to know these two new faces. I had not seen Vera in a film before although she looked familiar and you might recognize Anna from the Twilight Saga where she plays Jessica, Bella's friend.The movie is a very fast paced, excellently written, quite dark comedy centering around Clooney's character and his job which is <more>
firing people whose bosses "don't have the balls to sack their own employees". The actors playing the "firees" are real life people who have been terminated, adding a certain poignancy to their candid interviews. There are some excellent one-liners that come of these which George delivers perfectly "try not to take this personally", "review this packet, I am sure you will find a lot of helpful information in it" etc. These scenes make for some extremely memorable moments and George excels in the cynical but casual portrayal of his character, delivering each line with a super size heaping of charm.Vera is fantastic as his female counterpart and quasi clone of him. I was most impressed with Anna and thought she did a terrific job maintaining her seriousness and composure during many of the firing scenes and hilarious interactions with George. One favorite of mine was when he forces her to change suitcases at the airport and to carry on instead of checking in- something he learned saves him about a week of time each year. While his luggage is always extremely neatly packed, each type of clothing having its own compartment, hers is overflowing with loose items and even a pillow. George proceeds to throw out half of her belongings as he tries to initiate her to his road warrior ways. He imparts some more wisdom when he tells her to always stand in line behind Asians, as they are quick and efficient. A pleasant relationship grows between them and it is nice to watch his character melt just a little bit.Some of the banter between him and Vera is very funny but at times feels over scripted and not quite real, such as when they are comparing their elite status cards at their first meeting. I thought this was a bit overdone but very enjoyable nonetheless.There is a lot of American Airlines and Hilton promotion but in counterpart Reitman got to shoot a lot of airport, airplane and hotel scenery for free and that's a pretty smart decision so once you know that, the blatant placement doesn't get too much in the way.Overall, this was a very enjoyable film, speaking very much to today's mood and spirit, easy to watch, with many laugh out loud moments. What could me more fun and humorous than to watch a company thriving on the misfortune of others. Things don't end so well for George's character Ryan Bingham however, as the holes and lack of performance in his own life are exposed throughout his journeys- no significant other, no children, weak ties with his family and worst of all, no place to call home.Fabio and I both definitely recommend this film and give it a whopping 9/10! Please visit http://paulinasmovies.blogspot.com and become a follower to read more reviews!
We are drawn in by interesting, unique storyline and smart satirizations. About a man whose unique job is to fly around the country to inform people that they are fired. He meets a young ambitious woman that joins his company and who wants to change the system. Her ideas clash with his personal lifestyle choices.What the movie really is about is lifestyle choices, and relationship choices, choosing independence and freedom versus commitment and well established interpersonal relationships. By taking a definitive stance the movie provides interesting commentary on those that for whatever <more>
reason not necessarily for work don't stay put. A Monotone mood is established, that gave a bland aspect as though nothing substantial was happening. Part of the story took a dull meandering at times, however there were unconventional plot twists that made something that was seemingly Hollywood predictable not that way at all. And it was still interesting and entertaining to watch the contemporary witticisms. The two main characters, although not the most true to life characters ever created, were brilliant satires of people we all know. We are all too familiar with the fiercely independent, non-committal, cockily at ease bachelor and we have also come across the, sharp, type A, ivy league know it all yet with an obvious naivety especially shown with her declaration of the specific laundry list of traits that her partner must have. There were also some smart satirical illustrations of contemporary times in business, relationships, how people interact and the recession. For example the use of the smart phones in the new techno/relationship world is not simply put in as a momentum mechanism but is used as a symbol to satirize contemporary society. It is not so much Clooney's acting that is a marvel as the casting, which was perfect. By being so spot on by choosing someone on the cusp of getting a little older yet with plenty of playful, youthful vigor we sense the conflict and the melancholy.
George Clooney + Jason Reitman classic rom-com hit (by larry-411)
I attended the World Premiere of "Up in the Air" at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. Co-written with Sheldon Turner , directed, and produced by Academy Award-nominee Jason Reitman from a Walter Kim novel, the film features an all-star cast including George Clooney, Jason Bateman, Anna Kendrick, Vera Farmiga, and Melanie Lynskey.Ryan Bingham Clooney spends most of his life in hotels, airports, and on planes -- "up in the air." When companies need to downsize but don't have the cojones to send in their own people to do it, he's the one they're <more>
hiring to do the firing -- hatchet man at-large. It's not a life that lends itself to love -- trees need ground in which to grow. It's a classic rom-com premise that has all the makings of a hit.The film is primarily a vehicle for George Clooney and he's easily up to the task. There's quite a bit of sadness, though, which was unexpected. But a tour de force for Clooney and a clever script make it memorable. Co-star Anna Kendrick is a star to be reckoned with."Up in the Air" is clearly Reitman's vision and he's assembled a team that executes it perfectly. There are no bells and whistles here -- visuals take a back seat to the performers, and Eric Steelberg's cinematography is observant but not intrusive. Dana E. Glauberman's editing is efficient and economical.This film is so incredibly mass appeal that I can't imagine anyone not enjoying it. The audience was rolling in the aisles. Jason Reitman does it again with a true crowd pleaser.
Ryan Bingham George Clooney works for a company based in Omaha in downsizing business and gives motivational lectures. He travels to other companies to fire people and to give advice to the employee in their next step in their careers. The pragmatic and independent Ryan is completely detached and cool and he does not have any steady relationship and does not believe in marriage. He only dreams on reaching ten million miles in his favorite air company. During a trip, he meets the cynical executive Alex Vera Farmiga and they have one night stand; further they schedule a next encounter in <more>
Miami a couple of weeks later. When he returns to his head office, his boss has just hired the rookie and arrogant Natalie Keener Anna Kendrick that suggests the use of video-conference to fire people from their jobs and reduce the costs of flights, hotels and meals. Ryan exposes the failures in the proposed system and his boss assigns him to travel with Natalie to learn the procedure. Along their journey crossing America, Ryan has a closer contact with Alex and his family and feels uncertainty in his credo. In the end, he realizes that he is only a parenthesis in the life of Alex."Up in the Air" is one of the most intelligent romantic comedy I have ever seen. The delightful story is engaging, with witty dialogs, dramatic situations and a charming couple – I am a big fan of the lovely Vera Farmiga, and George Clooney has his best performance in years, showing a wonderful chemistry with Ms. Farmiga. Anna Kendrick is hilarious in the role of Natalie and her attitudes reflect the behavior part of the younger generation. The double meaning of the original title is not possible to translate to Portuguese. My vote is eight.Title Brazil : "Amor Sem Escalas" "Love without Stop Over"