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Up in the Air
     

Up in the Air

4.1 36
Director: Jason Reitman, George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick

Cast: Jason Reitman, George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick

 

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In tough economic times, it takes a certain amount of bravery to make your movie's hero a businessman who fires people as a profession, but that's what Jason Reitman does with Up in the Air. That he makes his main character sympathetic is just one of the film's startling achievements. Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) makes his living personally handing out pink

Overview

In tough economic times, it takes a certain amount of bravery to make your movie's hero a businessman who fires people as a profession, but that's what Jason Reitman does with Up in the Air. That he makes his main character sympathetic is just one of the film's startling achievements. Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) makes his living personally handing out pink slips -- he's the top hatchet man at a company that other companies hire when they are downsizing. And since business is booming, his job keeps him on the go constantly. He flies all across the country, staying in a series of nice hotels. And although this itinerant lifestyle prevents him from having any kind of stable, regular life, this doesn't bother him in the slightest -- he's thrilled to be a boy in a traveling bubble. During one particular layover, he strikes up a conversation with Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga), a fellow savvy traveler. They bond over the ins and outs of various airlines and hotels, and quickly fall into bed. By morning, they are figuring out when their schedules will allow them to meet up again, even though they both make it clear that there are no strings attached. When Ryan arrives back in the home office, he meets no-nonsense career-oriented twentysomething Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick), a fast-rising up-and-comer who wants to change the company's practices and save millions by having the staff fire people remotely via webcams. Furious at the thought of losing a lifestyle he's grown quite comfortable with, he convinces his boss (Jason Bateman) to let him take Natalie on a few trips so that she can learn what it's really like to fire someone. She learns the ins and outs of dealing with people who've been given the worst news of their lives -- how to handle them firmly but calmly, while serving up a few inspirational platitudes. Clooney brings to these sequences a maturity we haven't seen in his other work -- honestly, if you had to be fired you would want Ryan to do it. But it's precisely the character's ability to comfortably cut ties that makes him a loner in his private life. He conveys Ryan's lone wolf persona not as a defense against life -- a mask to cover up some hidden pain -- but simply as just the way the guy is. That makes his slow transformation -- his realization that Alex might be something more than just another friend with benefits -- all the more realistic. Clooney may be in every scene, but he's far from the only performer who gets to shine: Farmiga might be one of the few actresses who can match him when it comes to playful sexiness; Kendrick finds depth in a part that could have been little more than a stereotypical high-strung go-getter; and J.K. Simmons breaks your heart as one of Ryan's many victims. For its first half, Up in the Air combines the workplace comedy with the road movie, and it's an engaging, entertaining melding of those two durable genres. But where the film surprises is by changing gears halfway through into a bittersweet family comedy. Ryan's sister (Melanie Lynskey) is getting married and, for possibly the first time in his life, he wants to make a real connection with his siblings. This follows through on yet another plot strand -- Ryan's attempt to make a living as a self-help guru. He has a side gig lecturing about how to manage your life, and he stresses that the weight of relationships in our lives slows us down when life is all about moving forward. Up in the Air is about Ryan learning what's true and what isn't about this speech he's been giving for years. Reitman's film is so ambitious you can't shake the feeling he's trying to create "The Great American Movie," a summation of where we are right now at the close of the 21st century's first decade. Up in the Air is so truthful, poignant, and entertaining, so assured with its adherence to classical Hollywood structure, that he just might have pulled it off.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
In economic times as shaky as these, it takes a certain amount of bravery to make your movie's hero a businessman who fires people as a profession, but that's what Jason Reitman does with Up in the Air. That he makes his main character sympathetic is just one of the film's startling achievements. Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) makes his living personally handing out pink slips -- he's the top hatchet man at a company that other companies hire when they are downsizing. And since business is booming, his job keeps him on the go constantly. He flies all across the country, staying in a series of nice hotels. And although this itinerant lifestyle prevents him from having any kind of stable, regular life, this doesn't bother him in the slightest -- he's thrilled to be a boy in a traveling bubble. During one particular layover, he strikes up a conversation with Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga), a fellow savvy traveler. They bond over the ins and outs of various airlines and hotels, and quickly fall into bed. By morning, they are figuring out when their schedules will allow them to meet up again, even though they both make it clear that there are no strings attached. When Ryan arrives back in the home office, he meets no-nonsense career-oriented twentysomething Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick), a fast-rising up-and-comer who wants to change the company's practices and save millions by having the staff fire people remotely via webcams. Furious at the thought of losing a lifestyle he's grown quite comfortable with, he convinces his boss (Jason Bateman) to let him take Natalie on a few trips so that she can learn what it's really like to fire someone. She learns the ins and outs of dealing with people who've been given the worst news of their lives -- how to handle them firmly but calmly, while serving up a few inspirational platitudes. Clooney brings to these sequences a maturity we haven't seen in his other work -- honestly, if you had to be fired you would want Ryan to do it. But it's precisely the character's ability to comfortably cut ties that makes him a loner in his private life. He conveys Ryan's lone wolf persona not as a defense against life -- a mask to cover up some hidden pain -- but simply as just the way the guy is. That makes his slow transformation -- his realization that Alex might be something more than just another friend with benefits -- all the more realistic. Clooney may be in every scene, but he's far from the only performer who gets to shine: Farmiga might be one of the few actresses who can match him when it comes to playful sexiness; Kendrick finds depth in a part that could have been little more than a stereotypical high-strung go-getter; and J.K. Simmons breaks your heart as one of Ryan's many victims. For its first half, Up in the Air combines the workplace comedy with the road movie, and it's an engaging, entertaining melding of those two durable genres. But where the film surprises is by changing gears halfway through into a bittersweet family comedy. Ryan's sister (Melanie Lynskey) is getting married, and, for possibly the first time in his life, he wants to make a real connection with his siblings. This follows through on yet another plot strand -- Ryan's attempt to make a living as a self-help guru. He has a side gig lecturing about how to manage your life, and he stresses that the weight of relationships in our lives slows us down when life is all about moving forward. Up in the Air is about Ryan learning what's true and what isn't about this speech he's been giving for years. Reitman's film is so ambitious you can't shake the feeling he's trying to create "The Great American Movie," a summation of where we are right now at the close of the 21st century's first decade. Up in the Air is so truthful, poignant, and entertaining, so assured with its adherence to classical Hollywood structure, that he just might have pulled it off.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/01/2013
UPC:
0883929313037
Original Release:
2009
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:49:00
Sales rank:
13,032

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George Clooney Ryan Bingham
Vera Farmiga Alex Goran
Anna Kendrick Natalie Keener
Jason Bateman Craig Gregory
Danny McBride Jim Miller
Melanie Lynskey Julie Bingham
Amy Morton Kara Bingham
Sam Elliott Maynard Finch
J.K. Simmons Bob
Zach Galifianakis Steve
Chris Lowell Kevin

Technical Credits
Jason Reitman Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Ali Bell Associate Producer
Michael Beugg Executive Producer
Jason Blumenfeld Associate Producer,Asst. Director
Andrew Cahn Art Director
Rick Clark Musical Direction/Supervision
Jeffrey Clifford Producer
Daniel Dubiecki Producer
Helen Estabrook Associate Producer
Dana E. Glauberman Editor
Daniel Glicker Costumes/Costume Designer
Ted Griffin Executive Producer
Rolfe Kent Score Composer
Mindy Marin Casting
Joe Medjuck Executive Producer
Steven A. Morrow Sound/Sound Designer
Tom Pollock Executive Producer
Randall Poster Musical Direction/Supervision
Ivan Reitman Producer
Steve Saklad Production Designer
Eric Steelberg Cinematographer
Sheldon Turner Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Up In the Air
1. Scene 1 [7:40]
2. Scene 2 [7:25]
9. Scene 3 [4:03]
4. Scene 4 [6:40]
5. Scene 5 [6:40]
6. Scene 6 [7:37]
7. Scene 7 [3:32]
8. Scene 8 [5:17]
9. Scene 9 [7:25]
10. Scene 10 [7:08]
11. Scene 11 [3:53]
12. Scene 12 [5:02]
13. Scene 13 [7:10]
14. Scene 14 [4:44]
15. Scene 15 [6:55]
16. Scene 16 [7:07]
17. Scene 17 [3:25]
18. Scene 18 [5:13]

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Up in the Air 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Wonderful1 More than 1 year ago
With two young children we have very little time for adult movies. Up in the air is a very moving movie, while at the same time very funny. Although I haven't been laid off, the way George Clooney does it to people all over the country is very sad. The reaction of the people that loose their jobs is no less than gut wrenching. Be sure you understand, there are some very hilarious parts also. It's a great picture about a very lonely man that falls in love, and then gets burned in love! This is one of the best parts I've scene George Clooney in. Be sure to check out the commentary and deleted scenes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked the unpredictable plot, and George and Vera did a great job! My boyfriend and I watched this together, and it was fun to talk about our differing reactions afterward ( he liked it too, but related differently to the characters.) Truly good, vs. adolescent, humor. Very timely.
mishawaka-bookie More than 1 year ago
This is NOT just another reason to watch George Clooney in a movie. Do not count this out as just another comedy. This witty gem packs intrigue, smarts, and grit, along with some of the best performances of the year from not only Clooney, but also Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, respectively. And life, whether the characters want it to or not, seeps in to your viewing seat, making both Clooney and Kendrick especially reavaluate their well chosen life choices. It's a thinking movie brave enough to step out of bounds and shove viewing beyond entertainment. Sure you're entertained, but you're also educated along for the ride of their lives. If you like lighter fair, however, this may not be for you. It does require thinking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie! The dialog was witty. The acting was terrific. I could really relate to George Clooney and Vera Farmiga's characters when they are listening to the younger girl go on and on about her relationship and what she wants from life. She is so young and simplistic but she means well and they are kind about it even when she is insulting them implying they are so old and not married yet. The movie surprises you and is very moving in a quiet way. It is very timely hearing workers vent about getting laid off. The visuals in the movie are wonderful. It absolutely deserved to be nominated for best picture. I kind of wish it had won. Don't miss the song "Up in the Air" during the end credits. The guy that wrote it was out of work and broke and got the tape to the director who was in town speaking at a college. It just happened to have the same title! Such a cool story. This is a good movie to buy on DVD because you will want to watch it more than once.
Citizen_Journalist More than 1 year ago
I saw "Up in the Air" many months ago, but I have thought about the film nearly every week since then. It is the most timely movie I have ever seen about a current economic problem - unemployment. It provides a realistic view of the shock and other natural reactions of those "displaced" in the current recession. Of course, it does so with a point of view that is fresh and timeless at the same time. I could relate to those depicted in the movie because I was unemployed for eight months before finding temporary work. The calculated actions of the firm that employs George Clooney's character emphasizes the inhuman treatment that many of those who are being laid off have experienced. At the same time, no character in the film is depicted as a one-dimensional ogre. They are just doing their jobs; but their jobs are to tell others that they have no job anymore. I think the excellent acting only enhances the incredible script. George Clooney is at his best in black comedies and the rest of the cast perform superbly. These are characters that we think we have met because they all seem like real people. I truly appreciated that I could not predict where the storyline was going, unlike so many films today. I think it is very unfortunate that it was largely overlooked by the Academy Awards. I rarely purchase DVDs, but "Up in the Air" is one for your personal film library.
sm21SM More than 1 year ago
i m glad to read this book,n i will purchase this book in future.i develope huge knowledge .
WestTexasReader More than 1 year ago
When I refer to "Up in the Air" as a good story - this is a very high complement. I believe that good stories are what we are missing in the theaters today. I long for good - well told, well acted - stories. And that is what I got with this movie. The premise, people making a living of firing people, takes one off guard at first. Clooney's character seems a little jaded. Then a new upstart suggests that they start firing people remotely. Clooney then makes it his job to show the young woman how important it is to deal directly with people at their most vulnerable. There is also another story line about his romantic life that has a good twist. I would recommend this to anyone - especially someone that likes a good story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Up in the Air" had all the ingredients to be a great film: accomplished director and writer, talented actors, a clever and timely topic. And yet something feels amiss in this film, as though it came so close to the mark but just didn't quite make it. Also, for all the research they put into it, there are a lot of inaccuracies, such as sleeper seats in multiple scenes which are only on International and flights to Hawaii-this bothered me. The entire film is a shameless plug for American Airlines and Hilton...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I'm not a big fan of romance movies, this movie was funny enough to keep me entertained. Being full of Clooney's character's humorous antics helped keep this movie from being a sappy waste of time. Unlike most of the drivel that passes for a movie in the catagory (romance), this movie moved along at a nice pace. Bateman was his usual bland self in this movie. Clooney on the other hand was very funny. I haven't enjoyed a performance by Clooney this much since O Brother, Where Art Though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie. It spoke volumes to me in many areas. I ordered it to own after viewing on TV.
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