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Jay's Review of Up In The Air

Jay's Review of
Up in the Air (2009)

Up In the Air



Director: Jason Reitman
Writer :Jason Reitman and Shelton Turner, based on the novel by Walter Kim
Cast: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman
Rated ; running time of 1 hour and 49 minutes


Review Copyright JayFlix, 2009


Remember when they used to say how sad it was that George Clooney just couldn't seem to make the transition from TV's "ER" to the big screen? No matter how hard he tried, he just wasn't cut out to be a movie star. Well, who has the last laugh now?  
This delightful and touching film works on many levels. George Clooney ("Burn After Reading" and the "Ocean's" franchise) is a corporate downsizing expert. He flies from city to city working as a hired gun for a company which specializes in letting employees go. The company he works for is headed by Jason Bateman ("Juno" and "Extract") who sees today's terrible economy as a gold mine for his sort of business and they have refined their routine to a science based on phony compassion. Clooney's character only spends forty days or so a year in his one-bedroom Omaha apartment, the rest of the time he's in the air, in airports, in airport hotels or firing people.  
Some of the best segments of this film are the taped interviews with people as they confront the shock of unemployment. We recognize some of the faces, but they look and act like the real deal. Special credit should be given to screenwriters Jason Reitman ("Thank You for Smoking") and Sheldon Turner ("The Longest Yard" 2005), as they have incorporated the angst of a contemporary issue with a "ships-that-pass-in-the-night" romance and even work in a winter wedding.  
The aforementioned romance is...are you ready for this?...age appropriate! Vera Farmiga ("The Departed") is the free spirit who charms Clooney in various layovers (sorry...) around the country. Anna Kendrick ("New Moon") is the wet-behind-the-ears freshly hired college graduate who brings an academic vision of how to streamline their company. When accused of being interested in Clooney's character, she scoffs, "He's OLD!" Be ready for generous bits of humor and clever dialog.  
I guess if I came away with any lesson, it would be that old one: "Be careful what you wish for."


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