Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My Thumb Up: Up In The Air

Starring: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga
Co-Starring: Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman

I went to see Up In The Air on New Year's Eve. I've gone to the movies every year on the Eve's — Christmas and New Years — for a long time and it gets more and more crowded. Seems there are fewer parties and bar/restaurant-sponsored events.

You've already read my review of Avatar from Christmas, so now on to New Years.

George Clooney stars in Up In The Air as a corporate axe-man for hire. You want to downsize your company and are too chicken shit to do it? Call his company, owned by Jason Bateman, and they'll send someone out to do it for you. Clooney prides himself on his ability to be empathetic while getting the job done. He's threatened by a young whippersnapper who shows up and suggests a high-tech, less personal procedure to increase profits.

What I Liked
• An interesting concept that hasn't been done before.
• The plot takes many turns and I was surprised. More by what didn't happen than what did. There were several times in the beginning where I thought it would end up a certain way, and it didn't.
• The acting was first rate. I particularly liked Vera Farmiga.
• The story is relevant, giving us glimpses into the job termination process and how different people react. I'm glad I've never had to fire someone.
• I traveled a lot during my corporate days and I was reminded of a time when I got to see the country. I didn't travel as much as the main character, but there was a time when I returned to my hotel after a focus group and didn't know where I was...not even what city I was in. I knew I'd checked into the hotel and was in the correct place, just couldn't put together the big picture until I walked into the lobby.

What I Didn't Like
• The level of product sponsorship and logo placement in the movie was over the top. Sometimes it felt like I was watching a huge commercial.

Up In The Air gets my thumb up. I enjoyed it, was surprised by the plot turns, and believed the characters because of the great acting.

I think there's a lot in the movie that is relatable. The characters are complex as well as the situations in which they find themselves. I think everyone will see pieces of themselves.


Anonymous said...

I _really_ enjoyed this movie as well. I think it's one of the best movies I have seen in a really long time.

The product placement didn't bother me as much as it usually would, probably because I use the same companies for all my travel stuff. :)

Like you, I was surprised by some of the twists along the way and I found the characters to be engaging.

Anonymous said...

Up in the Air................loved it!

Caddy Jean