Reviewed by: Katie Thomas
|Featuring:||George Clooney (as Ryan Bingham), Vera Farmiga (Alex Goran), Jason Bateman (Craig Gregory), Anna Kendrick (Natalie Keener), Amy Morton, Melanie Lynskey, J.K. Simmons, Sam Elliott, Danny McBride, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Lowell, Steve Eastin, Young MC, Cut Chemist, Adrienne Lamping, Meagan Flynn, Dustin Miles, Tamara Tungate, Laura Ackermann, Meghan Maguire, Courtney Kling, Matt O'Toole, Erin McGrane, Cari Mohr, Adhir Kalyan, Jeff Witzke, Dave Engfer, Paul Goetz, Jennifer Nitzband, Kevin Pila|
“Juno,” “Thank You for Smoking”
|Producer:||Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman, Cold Spring Pictures, DW Studios, The Montecito Picture Company, Paramount Pictures, Right of Way Films, Ali Bell, Michael Beugg, Jason Blumenfeld, Jeffrey Clifford, Daniel Dubiecki, Helen Estabrook, Ted Griffin, Joe Medjuck, Tom Pollock|
“The story of a man ready to make a connection”
based on the Walter Kirn novel
At last, a film with more pros than cons and an ending you don’t quite see coming. “Up in the Air” is not only the single best film I’ve seen all year, but all 6 Golden Globe nominations are well deserved, as well any Oscar buzz circulating the film.
Immediately we are introduced to Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), a man makes a living flying the country to fire people for different companies. He is completely comfortable with his flight-to-flight lifestyle until Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) a recent college grad steps into the picture, creating a way of terminating employees via Webcam as a way of saving the company money, and ultimately eliminating the need for travel. Afraid to disrupt his technique and way of living, Ryan tries to convince his boss, Craig (Jason Bateman) not to move in the proposed direction. Craig decides it would be best for Ryan to show Natalie the ropes of firing someone first-hand and sends the two across the country on several jobs. The take off is rough, and they each discover between connections that the life they had planned may be taking them somewhere they never wanted to go.
There is far too much to the film to discuss, even when it is done with such simplicity. The story line is easy to follow, and keeps you interested the whole way through. No lagging, to waiting for it to just end, and it’s not too fast to keep up. The genius writers Jason Reitman (Director) and Sheldon Turner are to thank here. They gave the actors an incredible script to work with, allowing them each to give impeccable performances individually and as an ensemble. Each character was given a great moment where we see clearly into their hearts, bringing the entire film to an understandable and sometimes unsettling reality of where we are as people and as a society.
Of course, there are the morality issues one can only expect from the modern film industry. Ryan begins a “casual” relationship with, Alex (Vera Farmiga) a woman he meets at a hotel. They sleep together a few times, with her entire backside and most of her breasts exposed. They also sex message and have increasingly suggestive conversations. There are a few scenes that include alcohol, one where Natalie gets very drunk and sleeps with him (nothing is shown between the two, only a short conversation is had regarding whether Natalie “woke him up or slipped out”).
Ryan and Natalie break into his old school just to look around and, while the act is innocent and fun enough, it is still breaking the law.
Swearing is an issue considering there are about 20 scattered uses of the f-word, seven of the s-word, and 6 off the a-word, with only a couple used of the Lord’s name in vain. The terms “p***y”, “p***k”, and “screw” are used as well.
As a whole, I enjoyed the story, the characters, and the journey I took with them. However, keep in mind my cautions of this film’s unbiblical worldview, nudity, a few crude conversations, and some offensive language.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy