DVD Review: Up in the Air

Lately a few of my reviews have George Clooney in them (First The American http://wp.me/pEs5L-aA and then Fantastic Mr. Fox http://wp.me/pEs5L-bg) . While this is purely coincidental, it does give me a chance to talk about his ever expanding impressive career. His screen presence always has a very relaxed and natural feel, kind of like Jeff Bridges. Whether he is playing Danny Ocean in the popular heist series or even a psychotic serial killer in a vampire-infested bar, he always is in command of his performance. So should we expect anything less of him in Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air?

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Ryan Bingham is a man who travels around the country laying off people from their jobs and occasionally giving motivational speeches at conventions. While this would seem like an unbearable job to most people, Ryan relishes in this because it gives him the opportunity to live the life free of intimate relationships that he talks about in his motivational speeches. Along the way Ryan meets Alex (Vera Farmiga), a woman who lives a similar life as him. But his lifestyle may now become extinct with the introduction of a new process of laying off people via web-cam.

The inventor of this process is Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick), an ambitious young graduate. Ryan believes that she does not understand that his job is better done in person and is roped into taking Natalie on one of his trips. Along the way they both begin rethinking their philosophy on life. Will Ryan stay in his quiet little world of solitude or will his “casual” relationship with Alex flourish?

Early in the film Ryan is having a conversation with his sister in which she comments on his isolated way of life. To this Ryan replies “Isolated? I’m surrounded”. In one simple phrase Ryan summarized an entire generation of people who live out of their suitcases.

Up in the Air is an amazing piece of filmmaking that should not be overlooked. Jason Reitman skill improves with each movie he releases, which was already well-formed in his first feature, Thank You for Smoking. His writing is as sharp as ever and his direction is expertly executed.

As usual, George Clooney is outstanding in this film. He naturally slips into the character of Ryan and delivers one of the best performances of his career. In some small (or large) way we can relate to him. The Supporting cast of Anne Kendrick and Vera Farmiga are fantastic and rightly so were recognized at this year’s Oscars. Even the cameos of Zach Galifianakis, J.K. Simmons, and Sam Elliott are nice touches.

Up in the Air is a film that only comes along every once in a while. It is a film that defines a generation. It will be a film we keep coming back to because of it genuine look at life at this point and time.

Verdict: SEE IT!

Have a comment or opinion on Up in the Air? Leave it below

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One Response to “DVD Review: Up in the Air”

  1. Janine Murray Says:

    Hey! Great post Kevin!
    I wanted to see this movie anyway, but now I do for sure ~ sooner rather than later!

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