George Clooney has an incredible on screen persona and always has. My first memory of the actor was an episode of ER. I have yet to see the episode again on TV and haven’t found it online either. The point, however, is that it sticks in my mind. He stars in one of the best films of 2009, Up in the Air.
At first I was rather apprehensive about seeing the film. I’m not 100% sure why, but there was something about the film that just didn’t appeal to me. I’m glad I “forced” myself to watch it.
Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a man who flies around the country firing people because their bosses can’t do it themselves. He spends most of the year flying from place to place, staying at home for roughly 40 days out of the year. His flyer mileage goal is 10,000,000, which differs from the book as the character’s goal is 1,000,000. However, young and ambitious Natalie, played by Anna Kendrick, threatens to ground Ryan by using a remote firing system in which people are fired via video conference instead of in person, saving the company a large amount of money normally used for travel. To show just how important face-to-face interaction really is, Ryan takes Natalie on a trip to several different places to fire people and give her real world experience.
Along the way, Ryan has a casual relationship with fellow traveler Alex, played by Vera Farmiga, takes pictures of different places for his sister, who is getting married and can’t afford to travel anywhere, and begins questioning the life he leads.
While I would love to reveal the ending of the film and let you know what happens, I’ve always hated it when people do that to me. Ryan’s life is completely changed through the course of the film, going from a modern day hermit to someone engaged in life. He hits some rough speed bumps along the way (or turbulence if you wanna be cute). The music from the film is incredible and I’m surprised it didn’t win Golden Globe for that. Of course, it lost to Up which makes it okay for me.
All in all, an amazing movie and well done considering the whole thing is based around an airport. Clooney gives a great performance worthy of an Academy Award, though he faces off against several other heavy contenders including Jeff Bridges and Morgan Freeman. Get out there into theaters and check it out. Have some money in your wallet and be ready to buy it when it hits the stores. Definitely worth every penny and a Must Buy Movie.