Up In the Air

Jason Reitman knows how to make an intelligent and entertaining film. Thank You for Smoking was a smart adaptation of a smart book, and the first time I saw Juno I loved it (more on that phenomenon at a later time), now we’ve been given Up in the Air by far Reitman’s best work in feature-length film making.

Up in the Air stars Cloon the Goon as Ryan Bingham a guy who gets paid to go from company to company firing people. This job affords him the special privilege of flying al across the country racking up frequent flyer miles. Cloon the Goon says it best near the beginning of the movie when he says “To know me is to fly with me”.

This is Cloon the Goon

Cloon the Goon loves his nomadic lifestyle, it’s an art for him and Reitman along with editor Dana E. Glouberman give us a few montages that show Cloon the Goon’s zen art like method of packing and getting through airport security.

Like a dojo but with cavity searches

There are a number of themes running through this flick but the 2 themes that force their way to the front are Man vs the common idea of loneliness and man in an evolving world coming to terms with that shit. Cloon the goon is judged by others for loving his life on the road, not tethered to anything or anyone.

Then you get the main conflict. Cloon the Gon is called in off the road he loves so moch because of a young upstart girl at the company called Natalie Keener, played exquisitely by Anna Kendrick. Miss Keener has a revolutionary new way of firing people using the internets.

like this, only you lose your job

Then Up in the Air contains a side plot about a relationship between Cloon the Goon and Vera Farmiga’s character Alex, sort of like Cloon the Goon’s character but “with a vagina”. This part of the film is most touching and despite the slightly ridiculous circumstances it’s probably the most realistic thing in the movie that doesn’t involve real people talking about really getting fired.

Up in the Air was getting a whole shit load of Oscar buzz last year, everyone and their dog was predicting an Up in the Air sweep. Some ridiculous, critic who is often prone to hyperbole even said “ALL PRAISE TO CLOONEY” {capitalization mine}, thankfully these sentiments died down with the devastating box office take of Avatar and the slow climb of The Hurt Locker to its rightful place at the top of the heap, because Up in the Air doesn’t quite deserve that kind of praise.

As it is Cloon the Goon, while great, isn’t the best performance in the film, that honor goes to Anna Kendrick who kept me entertained and interested every moment she was on-screen. Her character has more than a few moments that she destroys Cloon the Goon at verbal tennis. All this praise comes from a devoted Cloon the Goon fan.

but would she make a better Batman?

Reitman deserves some respect as well, he takes a touchy subject in these much discussed economic times and makes a mostly funny, sometimes touching film. Reitman is kind of like Wes Anderson if Wes Anderson had any sort of connection to the real world.

No one has ever been like these people

So while i disagree that Up in the Air is the movie for, of, and about our times (that of course is Freddy Got Fingered) it is an excellent piece of smart popcorn entertainment


2 Responses to “Up In the Air”

  1. Did you see Cloon the Goon at the Oscars? He looked pissed…

  2. Rumor has it Cloon the Goon was pissed

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