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-traveller woman of his dreams.
Good mix of comedy and dramedy that really makes you think
Up In the Air Movie Review
I finally got around to seeing the soon to be Oscar nominated movie, Up In the Air today. A lot of critics are putting it on their lists for top movie of the year and I will have to agree with them. This is a very good movie. It's funny and witty and has some good dramatic moments at the end that really hit you in the stomach. It's one of those rare movies that is fun to watch and makes you think at the end.
The movie stars George Clooney as Ryan, his job is to travel around the country and fire people personally and hopefully tries to help them move on with their lives. It's an art form that Ryan has perfected over the years and he is really good at it. I will have to warn you not to watch this movie if you have just been fired, because the movie is littered with scenes of people getting fired. Most of the people react in an angry fashion and it's almost comical in way they show these montages. Then there are people that react with a sadness and desperation that really makes you feel their pain. Ryan explains that he spends some 300 plus days traveling and a miserable 43 days at home. Through his travels he gives speeches at different hotels about putting your life in a backpack and feeling that weight. Your different attachments in life weigh you down. So he believes in having no attachments.
Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga play Natalie and Alex in the movie and their characters provide a challenge to Ryan's way of life. Natalie is a young college graduate with big ideas that will change the way Ryan will do his job. Ryan is not happy about this and thus there is conflict between the two. Ryan's boss, played by Jason Bateman, pairs Natalie with Ryan so that Ryan can show her the ropes. Their totally different personalities and philosophies on life clash and these provides for most of the funny and witty dialogue of the movie. Ryan is an older man who is calm and full of confidence in his job and in his life. Natalie on the other hand is young, naïve, and looks unsure of what to do most of the time. Alex is another business room that Ryan meets on the road and has a fling with. During the course of the movie they keep in contact and hook up as much as possible. Natalie seems to be just like Ryan in life only in female form. Ryan enjoys being with her so much is seems that he is reconsidering his whole theory on not being attached to other people. Is it possible that Natalie and Alex can change his whole outlook on life? That's obviously where this movie is headed.
So what is this movie all about? It's about life. Pretty simple but yet very complicated. There are two philosophies on life presented in this movie. There is Ryan who believes that relationships are the heaviest objects you can put in your backpack. Relationships weigh you down in life. There's too much negotiations and compromise that you have to do. You can't be truly happy with all these attachments with other people. As he likes to say, if you are not moving you are dieing. In a way we can see he is right. Relationships can be hard; you have to work hard at it. It's a drag sometimes. The people you are the closest too end up hurting you the most. We've all felt this at sometime in our life. We see in Ryan's life that he has no close relationships. He has no girlfriends, he has no plans to ever marry or have children, he has no close friends, he hardly has a relationship with his two sisters, he fires dozens of people daily and feels nothing for them, and he seems just fine with that. Natalie on the other hand can't help but being attached to other people. She has fond dreams of being married someday and having children. In fact she believes her life is not complete without this. You also see this when she has to fire people. She can't help but feel very bad for these people and can't detach herself from the situation of seeing these peoples lives destroyed right in front of her.
So at the end of the movie you have to ask yourself, are attachments and relationships worth the effort. The answer I came to be is yes, they are. At the end of the day what keeps you going in life. Is it your possessions or is it the love of your family? For me nothing can compare to the love I get from my family and friends. It's unmeasureable.. As they say you can replace your possessions but you can't replace your loved ones. This philosophy is even more evident in this movie when you think about the people who are fired in this movie. They are devastated by this turn of events but they also realize that they couldn't get through it if it wasn't for their family. You can lose everything but as long as you have a family to go home to you can be happy, you can have hope for the future. Without these relationships you are alone and have no one to help you through the bad times. So I would think about your own life and be grateful for all the people in it.
Rated R- Lots of use of the F-word and other cuss words through out the movie, 2 seconds of nudity of Vera Farmiga, lots of sexual innuendo and vulgar talk between George Clooney and Vera Farmiga.
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