Friday, February 12, 2010
Up in the air
Oh George, with your chestnuts eyes, and hair of the silver fox, is there anything you can't do? It seems not. Now some don't like Mr Clooney, too suave and charming, the question is can you chastise a giraffe for being tall and eating leaves? You cannot. Even in his lesser roles his urbane European charisma oozes through, it's not his fault you see, he's everyone's favourite Uncle (the good one, not the bad one that noone talks about). I have to say that whilst I find him totally irresistable and a wonderful actor, I don't actually fancy him, so think I can be fairly objective.
Up in the air is directed by Jason Reitman, of brilliant 'Juno' fame and he's hit the nail on the head again with this delightful story. It's about Ryan Bingham, he's the opposite of a head hunter, a hired gun who flys all over the USA firing people. The majority of these fired people are played by actual victims of the US recession who verbalise their feelings on the traumatic events in their lives with dignity and humour. Ryan loves his job and his detached life. He loves his world up in the air and his only real concern is reaching the million frequent flyer miles club, an astounding feat. Then a hungry and ambitious young lady (Anna Kendrick) comes up with a cost cutting idea, and it's up to a disapproving Ryan to show her the ropes. This journey, both literal and emotional they both go on is fascinating and believable. Ryan's boss is played by the ever reliable and likeable Jason Bateman, and a love interest pops up in the form of the softly beautiful Vera Farmiga as Alex Goran, in her own words, a female version of Ryan who shares his love of the shallow world of status and card collecting. The film is full of gentle twists, turns and suppositions, not all of them unpredictable, but wholly enjoyable. There's a wedding thrown in and Ryan also performs in some fairly excrutiating self-help seminars in some pretty drab and depressing settings. This is one man's story of a chapter in his life, it's gentle and funny with wonderful actors, every one of them faultless and an amazing script. Ryan appears to be one person, and by the end of the film you see him in a completely different light. The ending is perfect. No gimmicks. The film is pretty perfect too, and one of my favourites of the year and an Oscar pick for me. UP IN THE AIR: An extremely grounded film. 9/10