20 January 2010

Defiantly more than a “plane” film! (Plain spelt like plane, comedy genius)

Up In The Air - Jason Reitman

Instantly after watching this film, you can understand the amount of awards it got in a wide range of categories. It’s a great film with a clever, twisting, and unique story and structure. The performances are world class, which you will expect from the likes of George Clooney, the recognisable Vera Farmiga and the unrecognisable Anna Kendrick, all three put in performances of their career but it’s the direction that is top here. Jason Reitman, a name now which should be familiar to everyone in the film business and who have an interest in cinema. This being his third feature length film, it’s an evolution that was obvious from his amazing first film, Thank You For Smoking, which lamented his skill and precision of the camera work and editing. Juno was his next film, which was funny and charming and directed perfectly, getting performances from Ellen Page, Michael Cera and Jennifer Gardener to create a realistic tale of pregnancy and growing up. Up In The Air is the combination of his last two efforts, combining a political message, with humour, romance, and a style which we can all now call Reitman’s.

Up In The Air is the story of George Clooney’s character Ryan Bingham, a travelling employee of a company which travels to different companies and fires staff for them. In his spare time he is also a motivational speaker which helps with the job. He travels a lot, and it’s an underestimate, nearly 10 million miles, and he’s proud of the fact he is always hoping off planes and airports and not having one place to live. After many years of working this young, a young female rookie, fresh faced from university generates a new way to fire the employees in a quicker and easier manner, which involved getting rid of Ryan’s flying and his style of doing the job. The new structure would use computer technology and eliminate the personal touch. Ryan asks to show the young woman who thinks she can take away Ryan’s job, a few weeks on the job, going from city to city firing people. Natalie Keener played excellently by Anna Kendrick, goes about seeing what Ryan does. It’s tough to sit through and she soon realises that Ryan’s job is difficult and having that personal touch would be better. Along the way Ryan meets Alex, played by Vera Farmiga, a great pairing and a clear connection between these two actors, Alex is also a frequent flyer, they begin a casual relationship, which throughout the film becomes more. Along the way Natalie becomes more connected to Ryan, opening up to him about her latest break up and showing emotions and Ryan also attends his sister’s wedding. It has a beautiful ending, which is not predictable which I found refreshing. The film could have gone in several directions, but it’s tied up nicely at the end.

I highly recommend this film, I really do, it’s something different, something that will defiantly be remembered in the future, if not for George Clooney’s finest performance or for the start of Jason Reitman’s career from being an indie director to being a Hollywood legend. Look out for his name in the future, clearly the new Martin Scorsese, but less about gangs, more about real people in real situations.


Simon Childs

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