Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Up in the Air. B+

Up in the Air is a very good movie and a considerable leap forward for Jason Reitman after 2007's Juno. That tale of relationships and teen pregnancy was very popular, but I found it to be merely okay. But with Up In the Air, Reitman gets it right. Is the movie destined for classic status 20 years from now? Probably not. The film has been called a movie for this age. It's pertinent to the current situation in America, but when this situation is left behind, so will Up in the Air. But for now, this is a fresh, exuberant, and highly entertaining drama with a sense of humor and a definite heart. The movie is carried by George Clooney, who has never been better. He plays a corporate businessman named Ryan Bingham who's job is to go around firing people. Since the job involves substantial travel, Bingham considers the airport to be his home. He's not your usual uptight, money-grubbing businessman. He has his own philosophies about life and because of his views, his job is perfect for him. Bingham doesn't believe in human relationships, but then two women arrive in his life and things start to change. Up in the Air thinks it's being sophisticated, but it's really just repeating a message told many times before. And you pretty much picked up on it from the very beginning when the film's trailers were released. But the movie still works wonders because it manages to make familiar ideas seem fresh. It has a really strong script, which comes from a novel of the same name by Walter Kern. And it does a great job of portraying Bingham before he goes through his change. That first forty-five minutes or so of the movie were really great. Then the movie starts becoming a little bit melodramatic, and just when we think we see the end, the film stings us with a bitter revelation. Up in the Air is realistic and very wise. It's a really solid film.

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