Goin' to the Movies

Informin' You About Movies

Reviewin’ For You: ‘Up In The Air’

Allow me to tweak a quote from Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) for a bit: Take a backpack and fill it with every crappy, meaningless movie you have ever watched, and see how heavy it is. Really digs into your shoulders, right? All that wasted time. Well, now set that on fire. Just burn it. Then go watch this movie.

“Up In The Air” is a refreshing film because there is much to talk about when leaving the theater. More than that though, it is a film that is deeply personal for director Jason Reitman and it shows in the polish on the film and on the characters. There is depth to the roles that most films simply do not care to develop but Reitman took his time to brew these characters over the years which is a mark of quality film making.

UITA asks the question of why we tangle ourselves with so many burdens in life, whether it be a home, a car, possessions, friends, family, a spouse and even kids. Wouldn’t it be liberating to just let it all go? Bingham certainly feels that is the only way to live and he challenges us to give him a reason why he shouldn’t.

Bingham is a cut-off man with a love of traveling and the elite status of miles and rewards racked up from being loyal to a select few companies. His day job? Flying across the country and terminating employees for bosses that don’t have the guts to do it themselves. Bingham takes great pride in his work, not because the terminations are fun, but because he is damn good at consoling them just enough to keep them from snapping. He is the master of helping you to move on.

Throughout the journey we see Clooney give one of his best performances to date, but he isn’t alone. Anna Kendrick, playing a hot-shot graduate named Natalie Keener, is touching and naive in her role of Bingham’s understudy in the humanity of firing people in person.

The script keeps the movie rolling at a steady pace enough for the 109 minute run time to feel satisfying and not overlong. Not quite a dramedy as Reitman’s last two films might be classified, UITA manages to pack in an unexpected amount of laughs in an otherwise concise drama about life.

Make no mistake, this is a film you will want to put in that backpack you don’t burn.

Up In The Air is in limited release right now, playing in only 12 theaters nation wide. The film will expand each weekend until its wide release during the Christmas weekend.

December 5, 2009 - Posted by | Reviewin' For You | , , , ,

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