Up In The Air

MV-UpInTheAir KATIE:   Thumbs Up.  I would recommend this movie.  This movie is a true character study focusing on the deliberate isolation sought after by the lead character Ryan Bingham.  Throughout the movie, he is re-introduced to the idea of personal commitment on a level he has never understood.  His perky co-worker is appropriately played by Anna Kendrick (Twilight, New Moon).  She begins her career as an inexperienced protégé but comes to realize just how naïve she is in a reality of a grim profession which deals with the termination of careers.  I really enjoyed the “realness” of the characters who were losing their positions, whether they were actors or real people, they exhibited a very raw view of the pain and fear which follows job loss.  Vera Farmiga played the role of Alex Goran, a female counterpart to Clooney’s Bingham.  She plays to a tee and hits her role right on the head without being too obvious.  I liked their chemistry together, and appreciated her playing a more mature (older) woman sacrificing personal commitment as well to maintain her professional success.  This movie is fairly slow, but keeps a steady pace in which the viewer is drawn in to see how the characters might change.  I am not a huge George Clooney fan (gasp!!) but very much enjoyed him in this film.  He is truly getting better with age and plays middle-age bachelors with a hint of cynicism very well.

CHRIS: Thumbs Up – definitely worth seeing. Clooney filled this role well. Clooney plays Ryan Bingham whose job is in “outsourced” company downsizing. More simply, companies that need to lay off/fire an employee or many employees hire his company to handle the termination meeting, severance packages and placement services.  This requires he fly over 300 days a year and he has been living his life for many years out of a carry-on bag and prides himself on minimizing personal baggage, both literally and figuratively. Bingham is obsessed with accumulating frequent flier miles, travel points and concierge level service levels at all possible travel and hospitality venues which is pretty humorous.I think the extreme stance he takes in the spectrum of minimizing baggage helps us identify the relationships in our own lives a little easier. His employer hires a sharp young graduate(Anna Kendrick) who is bringing change to the industry via web-termination sessions but first this young lady must accompany Bingham to gain field experience. She begins to experience the very personal and emotional depth of the termination process and the impact is visible as the movie progresses. Bingham is fairly callous in his approach towards his job  but it is more pragmatic than unkind.  Subplots unfold as the storyline progresses and all the characters evolve in front of us.  While Bingham was such an extreme personality, it was difficult to personally relate, I did walk away a little thoughtful and feeling like the ticket was worth the movie.  My critic partner made the evening all the more well spent. :)