Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Film Review: UP IN THE AIR (2009)

Co-Writer/Director: Jason Reitman
Running time: 105 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

UK release date: 15th January 2010

Watched on Sky+ Tuesday 28th December 2010.


I remember this film being critically acclaimed earlier this year, even winning some important nominations and picking up one or two awards. I hadn’t realised that the director, Jason Reitman, also directed Juno, a favourite of mine from 2007. With all these coincidences, I had to give it a viewing when it came up on TV. I wasn’t disappointed, it’s pretty good… but more of that later, here’s a brief summary first (summary haters please wait in the VIP Executive Lounge while I write the next paragraph).

Ryan Bingham has a job that means he is on the road a lot, well, when I say ‘on the road’ I mean up in the air, of course. He spends most of the year travelling from place to place terminating people’s employment. Not the nicest job, I know, but one that he is very competent at. On the side, he also gives motivational lectures. During one of his trips he meets Alex Goran, an attractive woman who also has a job that entails a lot of air travel. Having compared notes, they get together and find there is some attraction there. Later, Ryan is called into the office and is told that the company he works for is looking at taking everyone off the road and replacing them with an impersonal internet-linked screen. He argues against it and ends up taking the inventor of the system, Natalie Keener, on the road so she can experience exactly how it works. The pair don’t exactly hit it off at first, but soon develop a respect for each other. Ryan and Alex meet at various places across America and eventually Ryan asks her to accompany him to his sister’s wedding. Will she go, and, more importantly, will this bring them closer? Well, I’m not going to tell you here I’m afraid, can’t give too much away.

This is a really well made gentle comedy that I found both endearing and quite engrossing to watch. All three of the main characters were very good, but I must pick out George Clooney, as Ryan Bingham, for particular praise. I thought he fitted the role perfectly! Vera Farmiga as Alex Goran and Anna Kendrick as Natalie Keener were also both excellent.

I really enjoyed this film, it made a nice change to see a modern film with characters that are so easy to relate to. I love the style that Jason Reitman uses; I find it quite relaxing with some great visuals and a tremendous script. Over all, it’s one I will watch again and so, definitely recommended.

My score: 8.4/10

IMDb Page: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1193138/
Official Site: http://www.theupintheairmovie.com/
Trailer: http://uk.imdb.com/rg/VIDEO_PLAY/LINK/video/imdb/vi3344040473/


Nathanael Hood said...

I was personally shocked when the film was defeated by "Precious" for the Best Screenplay Oscar. Yeah, "Precious" DID have a great screenplay, but it paled in comparison to this phenomenal film.

SteelMonster said...

I can see why "Precious" got the Oscar. It's a little unfortunate that two such good films were up at the same time...

CACB said...

Nice review. This is my second favorite film of 2009, the first being A Prophet.