Up in the Air

If being set in the future qualifies a film to be considered science fiction, then Up in the Air--released in 2009--is a science-fiction film, as its last scene occurs in March 2010. The future! On the other hand, most sci-fi films are not about aging Lotharios and the emotional turmoil they face as they hit their long-postponed midlife crises. George Clooney commands the screen and delivers razor-sharp line readings as frequent-flyer Ryan Bingham. He also—and I find this fascinating—looks older than he actually is. Clooney claims to be 48, but he could pass for being in his mid-50s, which is pretty rare for members of the species Homo sapiens hollywoodensis. I guess doing an endless succession of supermodels really takes it out of you. Bingham must confront his own shallowness when he meets another frequent flyer (the stunning Vera Farmiga) and is forced to take on a young business partner (the charmingly unsexy Anna Kendrick). The stuff you assume will happen all happens, some of it at a wedding, which is lazy filmmaker shorthand for commitment issues. The story is trite, a sort of re-working of The Graduate for the middle-aged, but the script is sharp, and Clooney’s performance is commanding. In short: It’s light, sweet and forgettable, but worth the admission price if you’ve got some time to kill.

Credits

Director:

  • Jason Reitman

Cast:

  • George Clooney
  • Vera Farmiga
  • Anna Kendrick
  • Jason Bateman
  • Danny McBride
  • Melanie Lynskey
  • Amy Morton
  • Sam Elliott
  • J.K. Simmons
  • Zach Galifianakis
  • Chris Lowell

Producers:

  • Daniel Dubiecki
  • Jeffrey Clifford
  • Ivan Reitman
  • Jason Reitman
  • Ted Griffin
  • Michael Beugg
  • Tom Pollock
  • Joe Medjuck

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