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Up in the Air
Up in the Air
Actors: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, Amy Morton
Director: Jason Reitman
Genres: Comedy, Drama
R     2010     1hr 49min

With a job that has him traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham leads an empty life out of a suitcase until his company does the unexpected--ground him. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 03/09/201...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, Amy Morton
Director: Jason Reitman
Creators: Jason Reitman, Ali Bell, Daniel Dubiecki, Helen Estabrook, Ivan Reitman, Sheldon Turner, Walter Kirn
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, Ivan Reitman, Love & Romance
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/09/2010
Release Year: 2010
Run Time: 1hr 49min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 14
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 11/28/2022...
Entertaining movie with George Clooney and Vera Farmiga stealing the show. Not worthy of a rewatch but it is sure fun to watch the first time!
Brendon M. from EL SEGUNDO, CA
Reviewed on 8/20/2016...
Clooney is solid in this one as is the rest of the cast. Based on the novel of the same name by Walter Kirn, this movie pretty much captured the zeitgeist that was the Great Recession while providing a lesson on what really matters in life. The ending is pretty powerful (I didn't grasp its significance the first time around -- pay attention to Anna Kendrick's character's dialogue -- it provides a clue to the ending's meaning.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sharon R. (sharon)
Reviewed on 2/27/2016...
Terrific acting, beleivable plot. Great pace...didn't get bored once. I'd rate this as s keeper...could definately watch it over and over.
Linda S. from OCALA, FL
Reviewed on 12/31/2014...
I see George Clooney and sometimes avoid the movie. He's damn sexy but his views are not like mine. HOWEVER I liked him in this movie. This one has some twists. I could relate to my frequent travel days.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Incisive Look at Life's Emotional Baggage Through the Journe
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 12/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As someone who has both laid off staff and a year later, became the victim of a layoff after twelve years with the same company, I had a personal interest in seeing how director/co-screenwriter Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking, Juno) was going to adapt Walter Kirn's smart, unsettling 2001 novel. Even though eight years have elapsed since the book's publication, the filmmaker - along with co-writer Sheldon Turner - manages to deepen Kirn's themes in this wry, emotionally resonant 2009 dramedy and make them even more relevant with the pervasive downsizing of corporate America. The movie also manages to surprise even when certain plot turns seem evident before they occur. Initially, there is a veneer of cynicism that makes you think the story will be an abject lesson in the impermanence of life, but instead, it evolves into one man's journey into the heart of the emotional turbulence he had been careful to avoid. Toward that end, Reitman seems to be inspired by Alexander Payne's equally perceptive road movies, About Schmidt and Sideways, films that reflect a similar storytelling style.

The plot focuses on laser-sharp corporate layoff consultant Ryan Bingham, a man who regales in the impermanence of life by traveling 322 days on the road, informing targeted employees that they are about to lose their jobs. There is a necessary callousness in his approach, but he knows it's necessary to be present and honest when it comes to conveying the unpleasant news. Bingham is also a motivational speaker who espouses unburdening one's life of possessions and fitting everything essential within the confines of a backpack. Proving his case, he lives in hotels, airplanes, and airport terminals with his one life goal being the seventh person to collect ten million frequent-flier miles. If you can get past the Spartan one-bedroom apartment he keeps in Omaha for the 43 days he is forced to be at home, the hatchet man appears to lead a charmed if rather solitary life. Complications, however, ensue on both personal and professional fronts.

Bingham meets a fellow transient traveler named Alex Goran in an airport lounge and assesses that he may have found his soul-mate, so much so that he invites her to come to his estranged sister's wedding in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Bingham's boss wants to introduce a new strategy proposed by a fresh-faced, post-grad school upstart. New hire Natalie Keener suggests using remote teleconferencing to perform the layoff notifications. Since the new technology is the antithesis of Bingham's one-on-one method, he brings Natalie along on the road to show her how it can't possibly work. In a role that feels custom-tailored to all his strengths, George Clooney plays Bingham with an emotional precision that complements his charismatic persona which pivots between swaggering and self-effacing. On one hand, it's his most definitive movie-star role, and yet Clooney has never revealed as much about himself onscreen.

The always watchable Vera Farmiga (The Departed, Down to the Bone) is sexy and confident as the woman who seems perfect for Bingham, even though their adroit compatibility could not possibly sustain an actual commitment. Their interplay is fun to watch because there is a Cary Grant-Rosalind Russell-level rapport that keeps both on their toes. Anna Kendrick (Twilight) is winning as Natalie even if her character's naiveté feels a bit manufactured at times. Jason Bateman has a field day playing Bingham's smarmy boss, while Amy Morton, Melanie Lynskey, and Danny McBride (Pineapple Express) plays their accustomed types with aplomb as members of Bingham's immediate family. In cameos, J.K. Simmons (Juno) and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover) sharply play two of the victimized employees, but for the rest, Reitman uses non-actors replaying their recent experiences of getting laid off. As usual with Reitman's films, it boasts an eclectic soundtrack that works really well with the storyline."
Hands down the best film of 2009.
G.V. | Mexico City, Mexico | 02/04/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Hard to understand how a movie that manages to make you feel down in the dumps in many instances can have you laughing out loud the rest of the way. Perhaps because UP IN THE AIR is a movie so very full of surprises and complete knowledge of its main subject (I swear the next time I go through security in an airport I'll be looking for the oriental businessmen and avoid babies at all costs).
All throughout the movie I was expecting the obvious conclusion (the firer being fired) and was surprised to get something completely different in return, but even UP IN THE AIR's schocker scene, managed to make so much sense it's hard for me to understand how I didn't see it coming.
There's no question in my mind UP IN THE AIR will be the movie future generations will look back in trying to understand this particular era we live in. It is quiet simply a classic."
Entertaining, but something is missing
Rodney Bucket | 02/12/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

""Up in the Air" had all the ingredients to be a great film: accomplished director and writer, talented actors, a clever and timely topic. And yet something feels amiss in this film, as though it came so close to the mark but just didn't quite make it.

George Clooney is Ryan Bingham, a man whose job entails flying about the country laying off employees because their bosses don't want to do the dirty work themselves. Ryan is a man who is detached from everyone in his life, and is convinced that he doesn't have a need for human connection and interaction. Throughout the film, two things happen: first, he is forced to take on a young trainee (Natalie Keener, played by Anna Kendrick) and show her his business, and second, he meets Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga) a fellow professional traveler with whom he begins a relationship. The film follows these characters as they connect and disconnect and try to make sense of one another.

The characters are compelling, and at times the film is poignant, but overall the whole is not greater than its parts. Perhaps part of the problem was the feeling that two stories were being told: the first act of the film focuses on Natalie and her travels with Ryan, and then Natalie disappears for much of the second act, which centers around Ryan and Alex. Both stories are compelling, but they don't fit together very well, and as a result neither feels like it received proper treatment. This is not to say that films must end well-resolved and clear-cut; this is not the case. Nevertheless the characters in the film should undergo some sort of arc, and I'm forced to question whether the characters here were given enough time to have an arc, or if their stories were cut short but trying to fit too much into one film. The story for the most part is engaging, though it is often predictable and occasionally tedious, and I wonder if it couldn't have been a more nuanced film.

This is not to say "Up in the Air" is a bad film -- it is not by any means. It is fun (albeit depressing) and Clooney and Farmiga are both excellent in their roles. Director Jason Reitman is an accomplished filmmaker, though next to his past efforts, "Juno" and "Thank You For Smoking," "Up in the Air" is his weakest film.

Perhaps my expectations were set too high by all of the acclaim and hype the movie received, but it is my belief that this film had the potential to be far greater than it was. It is certainly worth a watch, but something about it doesn't quite add up."