A perfectly timed “Up in the air” is a movie you wouldn’t want to miss for the slapstick jokes and transporting comedy, also backpacked with emotions and a heart-touching story line. It is a story of Ryan Bingham, the corporate assassin played by George Clooney who is up in the air most of his time—travelling…firing people.
Completely void of human connection and emotion, Ryan is happy with his out-of-the-suitcase life, until he meets Alex Goran played by Vera Farmiga, a fast-moving businesswoman, who, like Ryan, is mostly in the air.
Ryan lives with just one target—to reach ten million frequent flyer miles, the goal—not to use them but just to accumulate them to a “specific number” he has in his mind. However, just as he is on the cusp of reaching the self-set target, his company hires Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick), a young overachieving woman who recommends that the company change the nature of the work by conducting the "firings" via remote computer access. This would mean that he would be GROUNDED.
Ryan believes that Natalie does not fully understand the nature of the business, and as such, their boss, Craig Gregory, suggests that she accompany Ryan on a business trip.
You might initially think it is a witty comedy about a jerk who not only thinks he's better than rest, but actually is, eventually becomes a tale chock full of heart and emotion. With a lot of subtlety and intricate weaving of plot lines all through the story, director Jason Reitman, after delivering two wonderfully carved out movies, “Thank You for Smoking” and “Juno”, proves once again that the charisma in him still exists.
I say the movie is perfectly timed as the story deals with the anguish and despair of people being sacked—very much the situation in the US post the economic destabilization—which his company Career Transition Counseling considers to be the BIGGEST opportunity.
An adaption of Walter Kim’s novel by the same name, “Up in the Air”, has received 6 Golden Globe nominations and has won the Best Screenplay award. It has also received 6 Academy Award nominations.
All-in-all, a must watch for George Clooney’s remarkable performance and Jason Reitman’s fabulously written screenplay.