Thursday, April 30, 2015

(Spoilers) Up in the Air Review

***SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers may be found in the post below about VARIOUS ITEMS. And I'm going to add in a bit of filler text here to limit how much of the main article gets shown in a preview. That should take care of most of it. Hopefully. And away we go. SPOILER WARNING. ***

Ryan (George Clooney) fires people for a living, he's always on the road and finally thinking about settling down. Takes place all over the U.S. of A. A drama with some comedy and romance?

Good or Bad?
Actually saw this one in the theatre and loved it. Part of the reason definitely had to do with the timing of the release. Up in the Air was about a guy who was hired to fire people in other companies, and it was released around the time of the Great Recession -- my own job prospects weren't great at the time I saw it. A major subplot was about Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) who wanted to transition to remote, video dismissals. That led to Ryan showing Natalie the ropes. The movie was also about job loss from the perspective of the people being fired and what employment meant to them. It seemed to deal with the subject in a dignified manner while being a funny and entertaining movie.

George Clooney's performance had a lot to do with why I thought it was such a great movie. He played someone who seemed to have it altogether on the surface but was actually missing something. The transition from a driven, overly confident person to someone a bit lost whom I started feeling bad for was done well. How his character handled firings so professionally and gracefully was also interesting and made him come off better. I wouldn't have thought a person who fired people for a living and was obsessed with collecting air miles would be so likeable.

There was also Anna Kendrick who started off as a fresh out of college kid. She was, like Ryan, also very driven but lacking in experience compared to the decades older Ryan. Natalie did not initially seem to treat the job of firing people with as much respect. However, her growth throughout the movie from a person who seemed to have it all to an older, wiser, and more mature adult was great to watch. Oh, and Vera Farmiga was charming but what she did in the movie...

A great, almost timeless movie that I look forward to rewatching regularly -- it won't be timeless once technology improves enough in reality or everyone starts telecommuting. I found the performances from the cast to be very strong. Story and pacing felt good. It was funny, sad, and definitely entertaining.

No comments:

Post a Comment