If you spend much of your life traveling, like me, then you will love this film. If you know someone who travels a lot and want to understand that life then go see up in the Air. It gives you the feeling of airport lounges, hotel bars, and a life lived at 30,000 feet. This transient life is a warm embrace to Ryan Bingham, played by George Clooney. His whole life can fit into one roller bag and this is a point of pride. Pride he takes with him when he flies around shit-canning people.
Jason Reitman is a good filmmaker and knows what he’s doing. He also travels a lot and captured that life really well. Like in the corner of the frame where Clooney is home and we see a bottle of mouthwash from Hilton. I know this bottle. In fact I gargled with it before I wrote this so as not to offend the readers when we make out. I mean…that came out wrong. When Clooney has a lounge run in with Vera Fermiga he meets a female version of himself. And then his city hopping, axe-wielding gig gets downsized. Downsized because little miss sassy pants, played by Anna Kendrick, has a brilliant way to fire people with ichat. So then how does Johnny one bag deal with this life gut punch? That is the crux of the film. And a good one.
Reitman used real people for the firing montages and this is brilliant. Because we see real folks talking honestly about a topic that is getting worse and worse every day. The recession’s evil stare is still lingering and when it falls on silver-tongued Bingham, I felt bad for the guy. Because if the guy that flies around and fires people, gets gunned, then we all can. And when Reitman goes to actors for the extended firing scenes, he uses great people like JK Simmons. You wonder if he will burn a swastika on Clooney’s ass and make him his new Beecher. Or when office nerd, Zach Galifinakis, has a funny melt down. Reitman is good at telling a story and understands the most important part of directing sometimes is casting.
Anyone who is on the Up in the Air backlash bandwagon needs to stop drinking the hipster Kool-Aid and shut the fuck up. Clooney is great, Vera Fermiga and Anna Kendrick give him good stuff to work with and Reitman is a solid director. It’s racking up nominations and will be great when I watch it again on a plane in May when I’m flying to play a club in Peoria and PALM STRIKE my United mileage status once more.
—Graham Elwood, who also wants you to know his new comedy CD just released and is in our store right now. He really wants you to know that.