This is going to be sort of odd, because what I’m planning to write is not only a review.
I know what I felt is something that not everyone else is going to feel, but this is what the film did for me personally.
“Up in the Air” hit me, and the way it effected me, scared me a bit.
It was quiet too. As the movie ended, I knew I liked it, but as soon as I left the theater, and as soon as I got in the car, I felt like I was suckered punched.
I couldn’t put my finger on it.
I knew I couldn’t relate to the job and all the traveling. The most traveling I’ve done in the last few years was my road trip to Atlanta earlier this year. The flight back home was the first time I got in a plane since 2002.
I knew I couldn’t relate to George Clooney’s Ryan character interest with collecting miles and disconnection with his family , nor did I relate to Anna Kendricks Natalie and her ambitious pre-planning on her own life.
But as I started to think on it some more I knew what I did relate to….life choices.
There’s a scene with Clooney’s Ryan as he’s firing J.K. Simmons character( Simmons killing in the acting department as always). Theres a moment were Clooney calls attention to Simmons life choices.
Settling, needing money, going away from the dream career, but more importantly, going away from the thing that makes you happy….
Sure, you can argue that the scene is a little cliché in that moment in the film, but that scene’s message sort of haunts the rest of the picture for me.
This year has been a pretty challenging year for me personally. I worried about my choices, I worried what I want to do and what I need to do.
I want certain things like everyone else, but is my chosen lifestyle getting in the way and am I too comfortable in my lifestyle to even see that I might have lost the opportunity to do certain things.
So no, I don’t relate to Ryan’s travels….but I do relate to finding out you may have created a life that you may(or will) regret.
This is why the film worked on me, it got me thinking about what I did my own life in a way that I don’t think Director Jason Reitman ment for us to take, but this is how it affected me.
But even without all that being said, I do know there is plenty to like that everyone can take from this film.
Clooney is clearly at his best in this film. Funny and charming are always in Clooney’s arsenal, but here he also brings the quite disappointment and sadness that his character hides convincingly. I’ve always been a Clooney fan (From Dusk Till Dawn, people, mother effin From Dusk Till Dawn…) but this is absolutely my favorite George Clooney role.
Kendricks nails the fresh out of college personality of Natalie. Her character could have been very predictable but what Reitman and Hendricks does with her is simple, direct and real.
Vera Farmiga ‘s Alex is perfect with Clooney’s Ryan. Alex’s relationship is wonderfully developed, and Farmiga is just perfect in the part.
In terms Director Jason Reitman, this is a great step forward.
In “Thank You For Smoking” and “Juno”, he proves he has a great visual eye and can direct compelling comedies with just the right amount of drama.
“Up in the Air'” just proved, as funny as it is dramatic, that Reitman has a lot more to show.
Who knows what your experience with the film will be. Maybe you will just find it “good, not great”, maybe you’ll love it, maybe you think it’s “overhyped” and you don’t see what all the fuss is all about.
But, I know what I felt after the film.
Despite what I went through this year, I can shake out of it.
I can still make good life choices, and I can decide what I’m going to do.
It’s never too late.
So I have to ask myself..”Where am I going?”
Up my friends. We have to believe we can only go up.