‘Up In the Air’ Review

Before watching Up In The Air I had several preconceptions regarding this film.  The first dealt with lead actor George Clooney whose performances, though consistently enjoyable, usually mean you’re in for a particular type of film.  Secondly came from Jason Reitman who directed indie smash Juno, an extremely over rated if enjoyable romp regarding teenage pregnancy and stilted dialogue.  Interestingly both preconceptions were rather misplaced and I’m very pleased to say Up in the Air is a brilliantly enjoyable, yet rather moving movie with Clooney pushing his repetoir into rather unseen territory.  In fact it’s only when I learnt that Reitman also made Thank you for Smoking (a brilliantly under rated and under watched indie movie starring the always amazing Two Face himself, Aaron Eckart) that the quality and tone of the movie made sense.

Up In the Air follows George Clooney’s character, Ryan Bingham, who travels all year long on passenger planes firing people (yup his company are brought in to terminate employees so their bosses don’t need to do it themselves) for a living.  He seems to be a man with great people skills and who loves his work very much.  In fact he also doubles as a spokesman when not firing folk to give lectures on why he feels people should live like him (without a real home and with no attached loved ones to weigh him down).  However his world comes crashing down around him (excuse the pun) when his company decide to streamline the operation by introducing a new computer system so that their clients can fire employeses over webcam.

What makes Up in the Air so good is the slow burn pace and by the time things start changing for our characters we know and care about them so much we laugh and cry with them all the way up to the rather unexpected (I’m not talking IT WAS IN MODERN TIMES ALL ALONG kinda twist here, just gentle not the romantic comedy ending we’re so used to seeing) finale.

A brilliant lead performance and some beautiful photography and story telling means I can’t give Up In The Air enough praise.

5 out of 5

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