Friday, January 1, 2010

Up In Th Air

The Film: Up In The Air

The Actors: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman (does he ever play a good guy any more?)

The Dealio: Ryan ( Clooney) is a hired gun who works, moving from site to site, firing people, because their employers are too chicken to handle this themselves. As such, he has carved a career for himself not only in amassing at least 10 million lifetime air-miles, but also seminaring others on the fine art of sharking through life without commitment. On a trip which goes exactly the way these jobs usually do, he meets a woman who describes herself as him with anatomical differences. His hard-earned shell begins to, at the very least, fray around the edges. Upon arriving 'home', a depressingly anonymous, soul-sucking rental-apartment for those who spend minimal time in their 'castle', he has a surprise awaiting him at the office: his boss ( Bateman, as a weak-principled, strong bottom liner) introduces him to the wave of the future: a recent college grad who has figured out how to save time and money (and potentially wreck everything Ryan has spent his professional life creating for himself) by firing people over the Internet. Ryan baulks at the 'depersonalisation' of the entire thing, but is overruled. The best he can do is to take his young apprentice on the road with him to see, first hand, how much better the trad (well, sort of trad) ways are to the souped up, fast-paced version she is espousing. Along the way there are cute-meets, tragedies, disillusionment, a really funny karaoke scene, and ultimately an understanding of the impact of what they do.

The Grading Session: 4.12 pengies out of 5. This movie is being heralded as a possible Picture of the Year, but I just ain't buy it. I liked the movie, thought everyone acted their touchuses off, but there was a certain lack of spirit which compelled me to mark this effort down a bit. Once again, I had to ask myself: what were the other endings that didn't make it? I know there had to be at least 2 others. Result: I walked out of there feeling...defeated. Harrumph.

Lessons Learned: You can call it whatever you like. You can do it however you think best. But, face it, fired is fired and unemployment seems to be the leitmotif for this moment in time. And watching a movie about it, set in the framework of a commitment phobe who finally tries to connect with someone- is just too depressing.

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