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    January 27, 2010


    Up in the Air (film)Image via Wikipedia

    UP IN THE AIR (English / PG 13)
    Genre: Comedy/Drama
    Release Date: 04 March 2010 (Early Reviews)
    Distributor: Paramount Pictures
    Running Time: 109 mins.
    Director: Jason Reitman
    Producers: Daniel Dubiecki, Jeffrey Clifford, Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman
    Writer: Sheldon Turner, Jason Reitman (screenplay); Walter Kim (book)
    Casts: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman
    Plot: From the director of "Thank You For Smoking" and "Juno", Jason Reitman brings a fresh comedy surrounding a human resource administrator (George Clooney) whose life up in the friendly skies becomes his only world as he works to reach his one-millionth frequent flyer mile. He is a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and just after he's met the frequent-traveller woman of his dreams.


    After the nightmare of ‘Burn after Reading’, I kinda forgot about George Clooney till I saw a book with familiar silhouette on the cover lying on the bookstore shelf titled ‘Up in the Air’. Okay…I told myself: let’s give it a try to watch it and BAM! It’s a nice movie!

    As how Jason Reitman managed to tell a serious matter (teenage pregnancy) in ‘Juno’, he seems to do it again in ‘Up in the Air’, only this time with an even more depressing matter – unemployment. He has once again proven himself as a promising (philosophical) director by telling a story about a heavy theme so casual and effortlessly.

    The whole story centers about Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), a career transition counselor, who used to travel around the states to give advice about career transition … well, in other words, firing people. What attracted me the most is his ‘backpacking’ philosophy about life. Basically, he chose a lifestyle of avoiding commitement and maintain casual relationship with people, because, for him, relationships are the heaviest things in life (backpack) that cause people to move slower and die faster.

    As every believes or faiths that most people have, his philosophy and life style was questioned and challenged throughout the movie when he encountered with his young ambitious coworker Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick, the geek friend of Bella in Twilight) and his possible love interest Alex (Vera Farminga) who turned out to be someone’s wife. At the end, after being dumped by Alex, he stood in the airport terminal and the message is clear: a ‘backpacking’ life style is the safest kind of living way to avoid disappointment. It’s kinda sad, lonely, and … but well, it’s a dark comedy.

    No lame jokes, just reality in our everyday life which we can view in a comedic way – thanks to the script writers who came out with a brilliant screenplay. The dialouges are enjoyful and easy to follow. Together with the original music score that helps us to look into the issue of unemployment and loneliness in a hmm.… delightful way, you’ll find yourself at the end to contemplate about possibility of choosing a ‘backpacking’ life like Ryan.

    Casting wise, I can’t think of a better choice of actor who can fire people in a professionally charming way like George Clooney. My doubts about Anna Kendrick was dropped when I saw her being so naturally beside older stars despite of her young age. And for Vera Farminga, her acting was fair enough with sufficient chemistry with George Clooney. Another thing I wish to give credit for casting is that they actually find those unemployed people to be extras in the film, which gives more reality about the cruelty of current economy situation.

    It’s a dark comedy/drama for your fullest entertainment when you’re getting sick with those lame comedies in box office (Old Dogs, Spy Next Doors etc). This is a quality piece of work blending entertainment and insight, drama and reality. My advice? Give it a try since it’s an awards season and you won’t get disappointed. Now, who want to be fired by George Clooney?

    Story - 4.0 stars
    Casts - 4.0 stars
    Cinematography - 3.5 stars
    Effects - 3.0 stars
    OVERALL - 4.0 stars

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