Up in the Air

"Excellent"

Up in the Air Review


Smart and funny, this breezy and bittersweet drama carries dark resonance for a society caught in the middle of both recession and downsizing. And Clooney couldn't be more perfectly cast in this role.

Ryan Bingham (Clooney) sacks people for a living. As he flies around America trying to soften the blow, he connects with a sexy businesswoman (Farmiga) and starts a side job leading motivational sessions about minimising the baggage in your life. He also builds up a whopping frequent flier account. So when his boss (Bateman) hires efficiency expert Natalie (Kendrick) to streamline the downsizing business, he feels the rug being pulled out from beneath him.

The film opens with inventive sequences showing peoples' reactions to losing their jobs and Ryan's economical system for navigating an airport. We immediately understand that he has no interest in settling down; indeed when we see his Omaha apartment, it's even less homey than the hotel rooms. Ryan lives an envious free life, unencumbered by people or things, so of course we know he's about to learn an important life lesson.

Fortunately, Reitman and Turner's script takes an intelligent approach, using sharp jabs of humour and some vivid characters. A story strand involving Ryan's sisters gives the film some direction, as the older Kara (Morton) coordinates the wedding of the younger Julie (Lynskey), unambiguously showing that Ryan has removed himself from their lives. And it's Natalie who provides the catalyst that forces Ryan to look at himself.

Reitman wisely focuses on characters rather than plot, refusing to indulge in sentimentality until it's earned. This gives Clooney one of his best roles: charming, clever and funny are the things he does best, and he develops snappy and unpredictable rapport with both Farmiga and Kendrick. These two actresses make their strong female characters unforgettable by continually upending the stereotypes.

So even if the film takes a couple of corny turns as it takes us on a lively tour of America's cities, the characters and themes are thoroughly involving.

And also wonderfully entertaining. We can't help but identify with people who are worrying about their futures--both those who are suddenly unemployed and the central characters who are just realising that their lives could use a change.



Up in the Air

Facts and Figures

Run time: 109 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 23rd December 2009

Box Office USA: $83.8M

Box Office Worldwide: $163.7M

Budget: $25M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Fresh: 240 Rotten: 25

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Jeffrey Clifford, Daniel Dubiecki, ,

Starring: as Ryan Bingham, as Alex, as Natalie, as Craig Gregory, as Julie Bingham, as Maynard Finch, as Kara Bingham, J.K. Simmons as Bob, as Jim Miller, as Steve, as Samuels, Adrienne Lamping as Tammy, as Karen Barnes, as Kevin

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.