Rating: 3 of 5
Up in the Air is a film that’s incredibly topical for our current culture, touching on the zeitgeist of our economic downturn and the emotional ramifications of living in that, hoping to refocus our attention not on our money but on our relationships.
George Clooney is great, giving the story a lighthearted and charming feel as he plays a salesman who flies all around the country to sell people their own firing. He doesn’t apologize for what he’s been hired to do. He’s good at it. And the lifestyle of constant movement and no real human connection suits him. Until, of course, he starts connecting with people.
Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick both do an exceptional job of playing the women in his life; Vera as the love interest and Anna as the young girl he essentially has to mentor. They both have well crafted characters and the movie is most fun and alive when the three of them are in it together. His relationship with them and the things they go through make him more interesting.
The things the movie is saying, about our current reality, about the impact it’s having on people and their lives, about how that resonates within us emotionally is obvious without being heavy handed. And then the film turns the conversation, reminding us of our dreams before someone paid us enough to give up on them, reiterating that it’s not just George Clooney that needs human connection because he’s living in isolation. Our own relationships are our solace during this struggle, and the true depth and reality of our lives.