Film & TV

Up in the Air

Rating: M

Running Time: 109 minutes

Release Date: now showing

Up in the Air is an adaptation of 2001 novel of same name by Walter Kirn.  Directed and co-produced by Jason Reitman (Thank you for Smoking) it stars George Clooney as Ryan Bigham a downsizing hit man hired to do the dirty work of retrenchment.  Ryan’s constant air travel for work has him create a philosophy that complements his lifestyle or visa versa 215px-Up_in_the_Air_Posterhis personal mantra may have attracted him to this purposeful solitude. Ryan has made seamless air travel an art as he extols the “baggage” free rituals in his transient existence.  Whilst in limbo between flights he makes a connection with like minded frequent flyer Alex (Vera Farmiga) and they embark on a casual relationship schedules permitting.  However his life is about to come to a grounding halt when upstart new graduate Natalie (Anna Kendrick) suggests that in this technological age firing can be achived more efficiently via the internet.  Ryan whose only  goal in like is to achieve 10 million frequent flyer points and become part of an elite club, fears for his very existences tries to convince his boss Craig (Jason Bateman) that Natalie’s theories have no practical basis in the real world.  Reluctantly Ryan agrees to show Natalie the ropes on his next jaunt and her young idealised views  begins to question the very fabric of his jaded ideologies. The women in his life together with the threat of “grounding” act as a catalyst in Ryan re-evaluating his encumbrance free life.

Great screenplay adaptation by Sheldon Turner and Jason Reitman and dialogue providing great support to the fine acting performances.  Clooney, Kendrick and Farmiga were all worthy of their Academy Award nominations for best actor and supporting actresses respectively. Also highly deserving of Best Picture nomination as well and quite a timely piece in this climate post GFC fallout, though these themes will not date.

4/5 stars

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