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Up in the Air (2009)

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Ryan Bingham enjoys living out of a suitcase for his job, travelling around the country firing people, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a potential love interest, and a new hire.

Director:

Jason Reitman

Writers:

Walter Kirn (novel), Jason Reitman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,913 ( 478)
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 76 wins & 161 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Clooney ... Ryan Bingham
Vera Farmiga ... Alex Goran
Anna Kendrick ... Natalie Keener
Jason Bateman ... Craig Gregory
Amy Morton ... Kara Bingham
Melanie Lynskey ... Julie Bingham
J.K. Simmons ... Bob
Sam Elliott ... Maynard Finch
Danny McBride ... Jim Miller
Zach Galifianakis ... Steve
Chris Lowell ... Kevin
Steve Eastin ... Samuels
Marvin Young ... Young MC
Cut Chemist Cut Chemist ... Conference DJ
Adrienne Lamping Adrienne Lamping ... Tammy
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a man ready to make a connection. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Up in the Air See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,181,450, 6 December 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$83,823,381

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$166,842,739
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Elliott has a small part as a pilot, who personally congratulates Ryan on finally achieving his coveted mileage award. In a deleted scene on the DVD, there is a shot of the airline's promotional poster on a wall, with a picture of Elliott as the airline pilot. Like many such posters, it includes a quote attributed to his character (Maynard Finch), but the name given after the quote is "Sam Elliott", not the character's name. See more »

Goofs

While it is only implied, many of the air shots of the cities visited are not winter shots, but have trees in full leaf. All shots of farmland are have crops. Yet much of the film takes place in the middle of the USA in the winter, with snow on the ground, no leaves on the trees, etc. See more »

Quotes

Karen Barnes: I'm here to be fired right?
Natalie Keener: We're here to talk about your future
Karen Barnes: You don't have to "sugar coat" it I get the drill, what are they offering?
Natalie Keener: Inside the packet you'll find a clearly worked out severance package
Karen Barnes: Give me the bullet points
Natalie Keener: It's actually pretty good three months' pay, six months medical and a full year replacement services through our company's CTC
Karen Barnes: "Replacement services" that's generous
Natalie Keener: Commonly it takes one month of searching for every ten thousand dollars you earn in salary
Karen Barnes: So I ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Over the end credits, the camera glides over the clouds. Much like the view from a plane. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 FAKE Nude Scenes (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Snow Before Us
Written by 'Charles Wyatt (II)' and Matt Greenberg
Performed by 'Charles Atlas (III)'
Courtesy of Audragint Recordings
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Breathes New Air...
28 November 2009 | by ClaytonDavisSee all my reviews

Director Jason Reitman, that has brought us great Indie classics such as Thank You for Smoking and Juno has crafted his most personal and most effective portrait to date, Up in the Air. The film stars George Clooney, also giving his most intimate and beautiful performance of his career, as Ryan, a traveling "Firing-Man," who plans on racking up as much frequent flyer miles as he can. Completely void of human connection and emotion, even from his two sisters, one of which is getting married, Ryan seems completely content with his choice of living. All seems well until he meets his female version in the beautiful and charismatic Alex, played with sexual force and intensity by Vera Farmiga. At the same time, a change at his job makes him acquire a student, Natalie, played with sensitivity and vigor by Anna Kendrick, to learn the ropes of the business before potentially making a devastating change to Ryan's way of life.

The film, based on the book of the same title, is a moving and witty piece of cinema. The line deliveries given are some of the best liners of the year. The adaptation by Reitman and Sheldon Turner is of beautiful and social importance in today's day and age. There was no better time than now, to bring a film like this to the table. Dana E. Glauberman's crisp and precise editing sets the pace as we travel with Ryan in this beautiful account. Reitman's direction shows he's a force to be reckoned with and should be in full blown force for Oscar consideration along with the adaptation shared with Turner.

George Clooney, who's having one hell of a year along with his other comedic turn in The Men Who Stare at Goats, gains sympathy and emotion from the viewer, which up until now, Clooney had always struggled for. The role is right up Clooney's alley and with humorous strength, conveys the pain and loneliness of an otherwise charming man successfully.

Vera Farmiga as Alex, is a beautiful as she is dark, and as sexy as she is ugly. Farmiga has finally landed the right role that, in her years of wrong place at the wrong time, should land her a first-time Oscar nomination. Never showing her hand, Farmiga keeps and earns your trust, attention, and admiration. It's one of the most divisive and structurally brilliant supporting turns of the year.

Seemingly not playing with a full deck is Natalie, played most beautifully by Anna Kendrick, who portrays brains don't equal smart choices. Kendrick earns your care and concern for the character, as she follows Ryan around and constantly badgers him about happiness and love, she naïvely and courageously shows the tenderest parts of youth in today's world. Kendrick will likely be sitting along side Farmiga at Oscar's ceremony.

Jason Bateman, playing Craig Gregory, the boss in charge, is amusing in a brief but memorable role. Amy Morton and Melanie Lynsky, who play Ryan's sisters, are valuable and sufficient enough to book end a wonderful tale. Danny McBride, an outstanding comic talent to watch, is as good as ever. And finally, in otherwise cameos, Sam Elliott and the great Zack Galifianakis are uproarious in their respective roles.

This could very well be the crowd and critical pleaser of the year. It has what the 2004 film Sideways lacked, the emotional edge. Long after the film, you take these characters home with you and remind yourself of its authenticity in delivery, poise, and premise. Up in the Air is one of the best pictures of the year. ****/****


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