'Up In The Air'
(George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, et al / DVD / R / (2009) 2010 / Paramount)
Overview: Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) spends most of his days traveling around the country and firing people; he's hired by bosses who don't have the nerve to do their layoffs themselves. His life of constant flight suits him - he wants no attachments. But two things suddenly threaten his vacuum-sealed world: his company decides to do layoffs via video conference so they don't have to pay for travel, and Bingham meets a woman named Alex (Vera Farmiga, The Departed), who seems to be the female version of him… and of course, he starts to fall in love.
DVD Verdict: George Clooney does a terrific job in this drama comedy about the ultimate in alienation in the American work place. His job is firing people around the country. But that's just the surface. He is the ultimate disconnect, the logical progression of where we went as a people in moving our work lives further and further away from the rest of our lives.
Clooney's character made the total jump and has NO life apart from moving from airport to airport and hotel room and hotel room as he does his job. His apartment could be a hotel room. There are two women who start to warm him up into becoming a human being. One is a career woman who like he is in the air a lot. The other is a new female protege who has been hired to revolutionize the whole process so that she can fire people over a laptop linkup.
Clooney will be doing the same. The young woman, however, unlike Clooney and the career woman, is a ball of emotion over everything. She took this job solely to follow a man to the city rather than having a man follow her (since she was the top of her class). He breaks up with her and she melts down. It turns out she wants ALL the personal stuff and this corporate lifestyle was something for her to do before she got it.
So here she is the brightest and most modern of all of them, a whiz at high tech no less, yet she is also the least alienated. The difference is that she is emotional. Clooney begins to wake up to his own emotions and starts to become a human being as well. His life begins to get messy in all respects which is what emotions do to us.
Again, it features stellar chemistry from the two leads (George Clooney and Vera Farmiga, both deserving their Oscar nods), as well as strong support from Anna Kendrick (also deserving of her Oscar nod), Jason Bateman, and cameos from J.K. Simmons, Sam Eliot, Danny McBride, Zack Galifianakis. The directing (courtesy of Jason Reitman, surpassing his previous films JUNO and even THANK YOU FOR SMOKING) is top-notch, and the script is stellar. [C.I] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with Special Features of:
Commentary by writer/director Jason Reitman, director of photography Eric Steelberg and first assistant director Jason Blumenfeld
Shadowplay: Before The Story
Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Jason Reitman
* To Know Me Is To Fly With Me
* Real People Firing and Irate Employee
* Thumper and Extended Boat Scene
* Omaha Montage