Saturday, March 27, 2010

Up in the Air-Movie Review...

Though Up in the Air may not age well, it is a great film to watch NOW.

With its focus on all the little silly things that consume modern American life (texting, cell phones, video conferencing, the bad economy, layoffs, etc.) I have a feeling it will look very dated in just a couple years. For the moment though, it captures a certain point and feeling in American life better than any film I've seen in a while.

George Clooney is great in his roll, mostly because he plays an onscreen version of himself. An itinerant bachelor consumed with remaining as unconnected to those around him as possible. When he states in the film that he really has no interest in being married, you understand that he is talking not only as his character but as himself in the real world.

Vera Farmiga does a fine job as a female version of Clooney's character and shows how women can play the game of careless philanderer as well. Her smackdown of Clooney's character near the end of the film for having read far more into their relationship than was truly there is brutal and you truly feel for him as he is essentially cast aside, much like those employees he has spent his career firing, and treated as merely a quaint diversion from her "normal" life.

Anna Kendrick is cute and immensely likeable in her roll as the recent college grad trying to improve the process of firing people in person by firing them over video conferencing links. As Clooney tries to teach her the ropes of trade, one hopes she doesn't become as unfeeling and unconnected as he can be at times and unfortunately as more and more of her rubs off on him, the more vulnerable he becomes.

The directing, editing and music here are solid. You don't really notice the first two (sometimes the best thing that can be said of a director and editor) and the music choices are perfect, only adding to and not overwhelming the scenes.

A thoroughly enjoyable film that doesn't fall into cliches, it deserves to be seen as soon as possible.

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