Jason Reitman’s new film, ‘Up in the Air’, is hard to categorize. Romantic, intelligent, hilarious, heartbreaking. I think that it’s above all, relevant. The film stars George Clooney as Ryan Bingham, a man who travels the country frequently, firing people whose bosses don’t have the guts to say it to their face. He also is very, very close to his goal of obtaining 10 million frequent flyer miles. The screenplay from Sheldon Turner & Reitman is pitch-perfect: Easily moving from cynical to tragic to uplifting, without ever once seeming phony, this is the one to beat for the Best Screenplay Oscar.
Vera Farmiga plays a woman named Alex who shares Bingham’s jet-setting lifestyle. The two ultimately fall for each other, and Farmiga & Clooney’s fantastic chemistry together makes this sub-plot work.
Anna Kendrick plays Natalie, a protege at Bingham’s company, who intends to put a halt to his jet-setting lifestyle, and to begin firing people via tele-conference as opposed to meeting them in person. This development startles Bingham, who takes Natalie onto the road to demonstrate the superiority of his methods.
George Clooney gives his finest performance here, and ‘Twilight’ actress Anna Kendrick has proven herself to be amongst Hollywood’s finest young talents with this film. Directed by Jason Reitman, ‘Up in the Air’ is a film that will likely be remembered for decades to come. It paints a perfect portrait of this chaotic time for our nation, but weaves a fascinating story into it as well. And the ending? Perfect.