Monday, 18 January 2010

Up in the Air

Cast: George Clooney, Anna Kendrick, Vera Farmiga

Plot: With a job that has him traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham leads an empty life out of a suitcase, until his company does the unexpected: ground him.

George Clooney is brilliantly cast as the films' protagonist Ryan Bingham; a man who flies all over America firing people on behalf of the company who hired him. He believes in living a stress and baggage free life and sees people as objects that threaten his 'perfect' life, his lifestyle choice sees him living out of a suitecase in expensive hotels, driving flash hire cars, and avoiding waiting in lines because of his exec card. It's these material things in his life that he holds dear, his job calls for him to be out on business nearly all of the year and that's how he likes it due to it leaving no time to form or maintain relationships.

The repetiveness of his dailey life is expertely shown through a series of tightly edited sequences of him packing/unpacking his suite case and going through airport customs. These mentioned sequences do a great job in showing us what a shallow and empty life Bingham leads. When Anna Kendrik's character threatens to ground him forever through a new scheme to cut down company expenses by firing people by computer, it is up to him to prove that the way he does his job is the best way, at least the most admirable in a soulless job.

The film starts out as a hard-hitting satire on corporate business, however, halfway through it develops a heart and focusses more on its' main character. Gradually Bingham realises the error of his ways and that his family and friends are the reasons why life is worth living, they are not just things to get in the way. His journey to find meaning in life is aided by his sidekick Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) and eventual love interest Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga). Because of this the film feels like one of two halves, albeit both halves are brilliantly executed to the point where I dont have a bad word to say, however some people might feel like the film loses its' edge as the film becomes more about Bingham's change of heart rather than the corporate system. I for one never forgot I was watching a mainstream film, the difference is that
Up in the Air offers so much more than the average film of this sort.


A film I cannot pick a fault with, the cast led by Clooney is spot on as they give us interesting characters that you can't help but warm to, couple this with a masterfully tight script by director Jason Reitman based from the novel by Walter Kirn and you've got an excellent character study disguised as a romantic comedy, and a film that will deliver to both people looking for either a light romantic tale or perhaps something with a bit more bite.

1 comment:

  1. So true. Amazing! Your writing style's really cool too :) x