Written by Hombre Divertido
Up in the Air with George Clooney is a thoroughly entertaining place to be.
Avatar may have state of the art special effects, and Sherlock Holmes may be action packed, but Up in the Air succeeds by keeping it simple, excellent storytelling through superb writing and solid performances.
In Up in the Air Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a corporate-downsizing gun-for-hire who is on the road more than 300 days a year firing employees for corporations, and lecturing on simplifying one's life by eliminating attachments to things and relationships. Though a life upon the road may seem like a miserable existence to most, it is exactly the existence Ryan cherishes and yearns to excel at.
When Ryan’s company hires fresh-out-of-college hotshot Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) who has plans to change the way the company operates by eliminating the need for travel, Ryan gets assigned to show her the ropes. While Ryan and Natalie are traveling throughout the U.S. firing people, Ryan is also trying to make time for a new interest in his life (Vera Farmiga) who describers herself as a female him and a pending family obligation.
Ryan’s cynical sense softens slightly throughout the film as he begins to see his life from the perspective of others, but the growth is stunted, and he is left to evaluate many choices he has made in life. Some of the plot turns are a bit obvious, but that is made up for by smart and witty dialog.
Based on the novel by Walter Kim, the screenplay by director Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner is paced perfectly, moving at a speed that is just quick enough to keep the dialogue-driven endeavor from bogging down without losing any of the subtle moments key to the success of the film as a whole.