Movie Review: Up in the Air

2010 Movie Review #1
Feb 23, 2010

got this from Tavis Coburn

All I can say is that it's a nice movie.
It's very sharp with a mellow tone, steady pacing, and mood. It's funny, thought-provoking, uplifting yet tragic. A dramedy if you will; it's very cosmopolitan and american. The writer director really knows how to make the mundane/everyday seem interesting. He creates a satire of the current economic slowdown in the US, and he handles the subject matter with a warm touch, a human touch. Such a solid story only gets better with the performances of the 3 leads. The characters really drive the film and we root and feel for them. You want to get know them and their stories. The movie ends and I find that I have enjoyed it very much. But there is a feeling in the pit of your stomach. A feeling that so much more reaches out in this deep movie hiding beneath a popcorn flick. It has an indie feel, so I don't know if everyone will get it.

Anyways, read more of my review below. There might be spoilers, might...

I'll start with a quote:

Ryan Bingham: How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you're carrying a backpack. I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life... you start with the little things. The shelves, the drawers, the knickknacks, then you start adding larger stuff. Clothes, tabletop appliances, lamps, your TV... the backpack should be getting pretty heavy now.You go bigger. Your couch, your car, your home... I want you to stuff it all into that backpack. Now I want you to fill it with people. Start with casual acquaintances, friends of friends, folks around the office... and then you move into the people you trust with your most intimate secrets. Your brothers, your sisters, your children, your parents and finally your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, your girlfriend. You get them into that backpack, feel the weight of that bag. Make no mistake your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. All those negotiations and arguments and secrets, the compromises. The slower we move the faster we die. Make no mistake, moving is living. Some animals were meant to carry each other to live symbiotically over a lifetime. Star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not swans. We are sharks.

Clooney plays himself again. He's the cool, suave and sophisticated frequent flyer who has a solo flight philosophy which he lives and enjoys. He meets this girl, Alex who is Clooney's female equivalent; she's the smart and sexy jetsetter. They meet up all across the country for their weekend get-aways and escape from reality's. (is that correct grammar/spelling?)
Ryan (Clooney) who fires people for a living, is now tasked to take a new gun Natalie, under his wing and show her the ropes.
Natalie is played by Anna Kendrick. I don't follow the Twilight series, so I don't know her from there but I am excited about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and I know she plays Stacey Pilgrim.
Natalie is the extremely driven young girl fresh out of school. The Type A personality (competitive, ambitious, business-like, aggressive) finds it difficult at first to be the one who brings the news of the worse day of there people's lives but she gets the hang of it.

This movie is about life and what matters most to you.. everything else is just up in the air.

With the exception of the famous actors, every person we see fired in the film is not an actor but a real life recently laid off person. The filmmakers put out ads in St. Louis and Detroit posing as a documentary crew looking to document the effect of the recession. When people showed up, they were instructed to treat the camera like the person who fired them and respond as they did or use the opportunity to say what they wished they had.

As the movie progresses, we see how their lives transform; how their way of thinking and living is put into question. After tough questioning from his new associate, Bingham ponders on what it would be like to settle down. As her boyfriend dumps her, Natalie finally gets to cut loose after years of living the square life. Alex in her cool yet mysterious ways, shows her true colors. The movie however, just breezes by and ends quite abruptly leaving you wanting more. And for me, it's just the right amount of wanting more.

I'll end with this quote:
Ryan Bingham: If you think about it, your favorite memories, the most important moments in your life... were you alone? Life's better with company.
Think about it.

GRADE: 9/10

George Clooney as Ryan Bingham
Anna Kendrick as Natalie Keener; Stacey Pilgrim, Scott's younger sis.. I can't wait!!
Vera Farmiga as Alex Goran; I'm not really familiar with her work but she's simply lovely here.
Jason Bateman as Craig Gregory; Teen wolf.. haha.. still waiting for the Arrested Development movie
J.K. Simmons as Bob;
He works with Reitman again (Juno) and takes a small role as Bob, an employee that Ryan and Natalie fire.

Sam Elliott as Maynard Finch;
Sam with the persona of an all american cowboy.. I know him from Tombstone (1993) and more recent films like Hulk (2003) and Thank you for Smoking (2005)
He has that deep voice that i wish I had.

Directed/Written by Jason Reitman

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