Up in the Air
directed by Jason Reitman
(Paramount, 2009)

Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) is a hired gun. He flies all around the world firing people for big companies without the cajones to do it themselves.

While he's redirecting the newly fired employees' anger into finding their new directions in life, he's on his way to his own life's goal: 10 million frequent-flier miles. Then his boss (Jason Bateman) literally grounds him in favor of a new idea by Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick). Her brilliant and economical plan is to use teleconferencing to fire people without logging all those air miles.

But first, Ryan's got to teach Natalie the ropes so she can design the program. The two of them go out on the road where Natalie learns such things as how to accumulate miles and which travelers to get behind to get through the lines faster.

In this case both have a lot to learn from each other. Natalie loses her love and Ryan thinks he's found his with Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga), a female version of himself. Despite being listed as a comedy, the story here is poignant and painful and truly one of Clooney's best roles.

review by
Becky Kyle

23 January 2010

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