With a job traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham enjoys his life living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a new hire and a potential love interest.
The lives of two lovelorn spouses from separate marriages, a registered sex offender, and a disgraced ex-police officer intersect as they struggle to resist their vulnerabilities and temptations in suburban Connecticut.
Ryan Bingham is a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and just after he's met the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams. Written by
The 35mm print was sent to theaters code titled "Sydney". See more »
Even very frequent fliers are required to have their membership card swiped by the desk agent at the Admiral's Club. (It's the only way for AA to know how busy a given club is.) The most that would happen if they know a traveler really well is that they wouldn't ask to see their photo ID in addition to your Admiral's Club membership card. See more »
This is what I get in return for 30 years of service for my company? And they send some yo-yo like you in here to try to tell me that I'm out of a job? They should be telling you *you're* out of a job.
You have a lot of gall coming in here and firing your number one producer. And then you're going to go home tomorrow and make more money than you've ever made in your life, and I'm going to go home without a pay check. Fuck you.
I just... I guess you leave me dumbfounded. I don't ...
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Over the end credits, the camera glides over the clouds. Much like the view from a plane. See more »
Skip "Up in the Air," and watch Billy Wilder's 1960, black-and-white, Academy-Award-winner "The Apartment" instead.
"Up in the Air" is an okay movie, but it never gels. George Clooney is gorgeous and suave, but you already knew that. Vera Farmiga is as sharp as a samurai sword; it breaks your heart that we don't have scriptwriters or audiences able to take full advantage of her skills. It's a bit awkward, because Farmiga's performance is more powerful and intelligent than the script itself. She's a shark in a guppy pool. I could never get past the feeling that Anna Kendrick was in the Amy Adams part that Amy Adams didn't take.
Jason Reitman, the director, has made a big thing of including real people who have really lost their jobs in "Up in the Air." Their appearances in the film remind you why acting is a profession. Real actors probably would have conveyed desperation, rage, and despair better than these real people trying to recreate, for the camera, their own reaction to having been fired.
The film is a mishmash of vignettes interspersed with awkward silences. Some are completely unbelievable. Some are clichés. The scene where the tightly-wound woman who keeps her hair pulled back finally loses it and bursts into tears is both, as is the scene where the motivational speaker has a moment of truth at the podium and Just Can't Go On Any More.
There's a sequence where Ryan (Clooney) travels to an unglamorous, family wedding in suburban Wisconsin. Clooney and Farmiga dance. Mealy-mouthed, acoustic, singer-songwriter music plays on the soundtrack. This sequence is so out-of-place, and such an obvious set-up for the movie's one plot twist, that I wanted to phone Amnesty International and report myself as a torture victim. Actually, there really isn't enough of a plot to twist, and you'll see this twist coming a mile away. The "surprise" scene is just a cheap attempt to jolt some life into the audience and make us feel bad for ever having felt good during a Hollywood ending.
Reitman struggles hard to make a funny, acerbic, astute, timely film about work, family, ambition, the economy, and America's soul. He fails. Watch "The Apartment" instead. Though almost fifty years old, and created when America was at the pinnacle of its power, it still says more in its every frame, its every character, about the punishments and rewards of capitalism and the merchandising of human integrity and the human heart than any film made since.
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