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Up in the Air
Year : 2009
Country : United-States

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Dancing_P  [ 7.0 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

Jason Reitman's third directorial outing has way more to do with his runaway smash Juno than one would initially assume: for starters, the first twenty minutes of Up in the Air are just as nauseatingly precious and mannered as the first act of Juno. Reitman is just as enamored with rat-tat-tat His Girl Friday dialogue and establishing characters through cutesy shorthand. For the first twenty minutes of Up in the Air, suicide by hanging was my major concern. Like Juno, however, Up in the Air sees Reitman gradually drop his guard and allow the characters to breathe at their own pace - if Reitman sort of blows at starting movies, he absolutely nails the whole pesky 'character' thing.

George Clooney stars as Ryan Bingham, a dashing middle-aged efficiency expert whose sole job it is to fly across the nation and fire employees on behalf of their employers. Ryan feels at home in a plane; his apartment is a spartan one-bedroom that looks strangely like a hotel room. His carefully-regulated life of single-serving peanuts and pencilling in trysts with the equally-busy Alex (Vera Farmiga) is ground to a halt when his boss (Jason Bateman) introduces a new remote-assisted firing system developed by a young intern (Anna Kendrick); Ryan is to take her (and her family-oriented, love-believing ways) along while they test the new system out on the road.

Reitman is without a doubt an actor's director; the script, while funny and technically sound, is filled with inevitable moral lessons, rousing speeches and last-minute redemption. Apart from one twist that even this jaded asshole didn't see coming, it's sort of formulaic. That's nicely offset by great performances by Clooney (albeit, in his case, it isn't much of a stretch from the way I imagine George Clooney lives his day-to-day) Farmiga and especially Kendrick. Familiar to me mostly through her presence in the Twilight films (which is to say, I know she's in the Twilight films), Kendrick is a revelation here. She manages to infuse a character that could have served as little else than a mouthpiece for Clooney's inevitable moral redemption with a pathos and humanity that transcends even what's in the script. It's a film that's been touted as an awards contender (even the frontrunner for the Oscar this year) - frankly, it's a decent little film but the only thing that deserves to be totally rewarded is Kendrick - she walks away with the damn thing. Take that, George.

PS: I wrote this a while back, before the Oscars even. I procrastinate.

suminjoo  [ 7.5 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

It was a good movie and I can see why all of the main characters were nominated for Oscar - they were great! The plot was somewhat predictable to me(not to my hubby for whom I spoiled the ending as a result), but overall left a good lingering feeling at the end...I did realize though that I have a long way to go for US geography - I didn't know even half of the cities that were in the movie...

sirkh1  [ 8.0 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

One of the biggest themes I got from this movie is that people disappoint you. Natalie is disappointed by someone she thought she could trust, as was Ryan. Even worse things happen late in the movie. Which is why I love Ryan’s scene of true selflessness to balance everything out.

Some of the firing scenes are extremely powerful. The black guy (who’s not named) who briefly shames Ryan…the woman who winds up scaring the shit out of Natalie…and J.K. Simmons, probably most of all. You don’t expect Ryan to make any actual points with his firing sermon – and it proceeds like all the others for a while, up until Ryan makes a flippant, almost jeering remark towards Simmons’ character. The ensuing conversation has Ryan confronting him about his love of cooking (as told in his resume) and his dreams of pursuing something there only to put it on the backburner. It reminded me of the importance and innocence that our dreams truly have for us.

And yeah, all the actors are great.

Corto  [ 7.5 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

I liked this most as a mood piece set on airports and hotels, strange non-places that are isolated from the real world. Obviously, when the message kicks in the mood suffers, but luckily the sentimentality is kept in reasonable amounts. Anna Kendrick's hairline kept freaking me out throughout the film.

DokBrowne  [ 9.5 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

One of the rare movies that provokes sobering self-reflection while also being superbly entertaining and impecabbly well-made from top to bottom. My kind of movie in every way

jeff_v  [ 6.5 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

I did like the acting. Don't tell my wife, but I think I'm in love with Vera Farmiga. The movie left me with a bit of a 'so-what' shrug though.

Emmitt  [ 8.0 ]    [ add to preferred ]    [ email this review to a friend ]

good one with vera farmiga and others. i remember her from the bates motel tv show. this has so many layers of depth and well acted

Wizard   6.5  ]
astrosheil   8.0  ]

Weighted Rating : 7.3
No. Ratings : 9
No. Reviews : 7

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Ranked by Rating
2009 10
2000's 154
All-time 770

Ranked by No. Ratings
2009 5
2000's 416
All-time 1672

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