Movie Review: Up in the Air

Friday, January 29, 2010


How can a person whose sole job is to fire people sleep soundly at night? That was the question of one of the employees Ryan Bingham fired. That was my question too.

How can a person tasked to cut another person from his source of income be happy with his job?

But in Ryan Bingham's case, portrayed by George Clooney, it was easy. He simply isolated himself with the rest of the world. Living only with a suitcase, traveling around the country, nothing more important than reaching ten million frequent flyer miles.

The "firing people" part however is not easy. An argument he won over junior officer Natalie Keener, played by Anna Kendrick, who tried revolutionizing the business by using iChat to fire a person.




But life is not that easy, as Ryan Bingham has realized. Any human, however isolated, has to feel.

That's what happened when he met Alex Goran, played by Vera Farmiga. She was living a lifestyle like his. Flying here and there. Engaging in relationships with no strings attach. Just what Ryan needs.

Until he needs her more. Enough for him to decide to leave his suitcase lifestyle for her.

But Ryan is in for another kind of feeling, I guess, because a human who feels real happiness has to feel real sorrow too.

I think Up in the Air is a very intelligent movie. Though anyone would beat me in that argument.

I consider any movie which tackles "life" an intelligent movie. Up in the Air opens up the possibility of happiness in living alone, like anyone secretly dreams of.

Why not? Living alone means no other worries, no other obligations, no other responsibilities but yourself. It's the extreme level of independence. No one else matters but you, and nothing else matters but those you chose to matter.

But really, how can that be possible? How can a lonely man be really happy?

Up in the Air won the Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture in the recently concluded Golden Globe Awards 2010. It has also received numerous winnings and nominations from other award giving bodies including a nomination in the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

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