Sunday, January 10, 2010
WORTH-IT: (Jason Reitman) Do you ever get so deep into a routine that you forget what life is like outside of it? Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) is a top account executive at company who fires other company's employees for a living. Specializing in severance packages and "the after," he lives between airplane seats and hotel beds, laying off hundreds a week and never looking back. He's got the packing down, all the good member cards and his closest friends are employees of American Air. He's got it all, getting the best upgrades wherever he goes, steak dinners a la his company, and no baggage to come home to. In a sense, he is free... living life in the clouds, up in the air. When a Cornell honor student joins his team with new ideas threatening to keep him grounded, he is forced to see what his life has become while he's had in head in the clouds. The story is that of his re-evaluation, and while I won't spoil any of the journey for you, potential viewers, I can say that watching his rediscovery is fascinating. Clooney captures the innocence, ignorance and arrogance that Bingham has rolled into his character. He wears emotion on his face, in his body language and drenches his voice with a punch of those same feelings, making whatever story portrayed on-screen one not to ignore. The story here is funny. It's witty and sharp, laughing right back at you when you immediately wonder if the same joke is on you. Its dark and disheartening, but in a self-revelation sort of way. Its heavy on family, but dabbles in immorality... matching Bingham's inward conflict to that of life, in general. Its deep and thought-provoking. Overall, quick and painless entertainment, leaving you with slight discontentment, but inevitable encouragement to take the high road. Clooney does the job, and with newcomer Anna Kendrick as Cornell's brightest to shake up routine, and veteran (and growing personal favorite) Vera Farmiga as the mature, travel-high new companion, its a treat on-screen, for your eyes and your heart... and yes, in the end, your spirit. Up in the Air proves that at the lowest of lows we have what it takes to move on, we have what it takes to choose a different path, or recognize our current path for what it may actually offer. Surely Clooney will get the nod here, so do yourself a favor and see this flick.