Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Up in the Air (2009) - Movie Marathon Drive-Thru Review: Film #12


On the Menu:
UP IN THE AIR (2009)

Ingredients: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Sam Elliott, Danny McBride, Amy Morton, Melanie Lynskey and Zach Galifianakis. Directed by Jason Reitman. Run time: 109 minutes. Rated: R. 

At First Bite: In 2008, I was rooting for Jason Reitman to win the Oscar for JUNO, but he lost to the Coens. Two years later, he got nominated again for this one, but had the misfortune of going up against the juggernaut that was THE HURT LOCKER and Kathryn Bigelow. I didn't get to see this before Oscar time last year, so I made sure to watch it before this year's. 

Tough to Swallow: I don't think the family bits fit that well into the movie. 

A lyric for "Time After Time" is incorrect on the karaoke monitor as Natalie sings.

The name of the company Ryan works for is CTC. On his secretary's desk, the plate reads Career Transition Corporation. On the letterhead of a recommendation letter seen later, CTC stands for Career Transition Counseling. 

Something to Chew On: The voices of Coors and Budweiser have a moment together when Ryan reaches 10,000,000 miles.

The movie is based on a novel by Walter Kirn, who has a cameo. During Natalie's introduction, Kirn is sitting to the left of Ryan. 

Most of the people laid off in the film are not actors, but people who had recently lost their jobs.

Emily Blunt and Ellen Page were considered for the role of Natalie, but Reitman wrote the role with Kendrick in mind. 

This film received 6 Oscar nominations. 

Aftertaste: Reitman's only directed three movies. Three! THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, JUNO and UP IN THE AIR. All great. 

I think this movie struck a chord because it came at a time when a lot of America was dealing with a recession and massive layoffs.

Clooney is his charming self as Ryan Bingham, a guy who flies around the world firing people. What a horrible job to have, right? This might be Clooney's best performance since O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?

I'm very interested in seeing more of Kendrick. Loved her in this, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD and ROCKET SCIENCE. I will not watch the Twilight movies. Sorry, Miss Kendrick.

So, I enjoyed the acting and dialogue. Well, the screenplay was nominated for an Oscar, too.

The romance and banter between Clooney and Farmiga is very reminiscent of watching a Cary Grant flick. But, the conversations between Clooney and Kendrick are just as fun to watch. The scene with all three might be my favorite part of the movie. That and the appearance of Young MC.

If you watch the DVD with the commentary, Reitman, the DP and the 1st Assistant Director mention how they wanted to mimic Ryan's composure with their shooting style, e.g., hand-held in the second half. They also said they wanted the look to go from "perfect" to real. You definitely pick up on all of it watching a second time. 

Needless to say, this is Reitman's most grounded film (ha), and I am anxiously awaiting his next one. 

Rating:

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