Up in the Air stars the oh-so-delicious looking George Clooney (Academy Award nominated role) playing a corporate downsizer whose job involves extensive travelling all over the US of A delivering the dreaded “You’ve been let go” message to more than just a few individuals. Ryan Bingham (name of his character) also delivers motivational speeches such as “What’s in your backpack?” in which he preaches the virtues of a completely attachment-free life to people. Suffice to say that Ryan is somebody who is extremely comfortable in the company of only one person in the world, himself. His personal secret goal though is to hit the 10 million frequent flyer miles for the American Airlines and join a reasonably elite club which currently has only 6 members. During the course of his travels, Ryan also hooks up with another frequent flyer Alex (Academy Award nominated role played by Vera Farmiga) with whom he begins a casual relationship.
During one of his assignments he is called back to his office at Omaha, Nebraska where he is introduced to Natalie Keener (Academy Award nominated role played by Anna Kendrick) who has a proposal to cut costs by delivering the dreaded message through internet video conferencing. Now for an old-timer in this line of work like Ryan, this comes across as an extremely impersonal and shocking way to deliver such bad news to people. His boss therefore assigns Natalie to travel with Ryan for a while to get the hang of his work, his methods of delivery and see him in action, so that she has a better idea of what it actually takes to get the job done.
As things go, Ryan begins to realize how lonely he really is and how that loneliness has affected his personality adversely as such. His soft corner for Alex turns into more serious feelings for her. He realizes that he probably wants to settle down. On the workfront, Natalie learns the ropes of her trade, and manages to convince Ryan that technology can really help reduce costs for his parent company. All of this ends up in quite a twisted climactic turn of events and how it is all unravelled makes up for the last part of the movie.
Now this movie struck me as good for more than a few reasons. George Clooney at his dashing-playboy best, Vera Farmiga as the teasing, playful Alex, Anna Kendrick as the blue under the nose rookie who strongly believes in planning her life out to the last T, make up for a wonderful ensemble of characters to keep the narrative interesting. All the scenes where two of the three are involved make up for some interesting and entertaining moments in the movie, and given that there are not too many other characters, these scenes pretty much make up most of the movie. The black humor with which the director, Jason Reitman (of ‘Thank you for smoking‘ and ‘Juno‘ fame) has laced almost the entire movie makes it a must watch for anybody who remotely loves this genre of movies.
PS: Watch out for the title credits during the start of the movie, I absolutely loved them!!!
LAMBScore for this movie