Up In The Air - Reviewed

Ryan Bingham lives in the air. Travelling from company to company, hired to let employees of other companies know they're fired, he has no home or time for commitments. Ryan is married to his job and in case you were wondering, Ryan Bingham loves his life.

Jason Reitman's follow up to 2007's Juno sees the director aim slightly higher than teenage indie comedy. With Up In The Air he proves he can handle adults just as well as sassy knocked up teens whilst keeping his alternative rom-com charm.

George Clooney may have been no stranger to the big screen in 2009, starring in no less than three films during late November and early December, but no performance is as intimate or compelling as Ryan Bingham.

Makes you wonder if Clooney, a self confessed ladies man with no intention of settling down anytime soon can see the comparison, but maybe that's what makes him so interesting to watch.

Giving self help talks on the dangers of life commitments, Ryan asks audiences to pack their lives into a backpack; their possessions, even their relationships - all to re-enforce his simple life philosophy. As he eloquently puts it "the slower we move the faster we die" and as such Ryan has an inability to stay in one place for too long.

When Natalie, a young professional with her eyes on the prize but her heart on her sleeve suggests firing people via webcam, thus making travelling unnecessary Ryan's cushy existence is thrown, well, up in the air.

Battling his corner, he attempts to prove to Natalie that the face-to-face approach is crucial by inviting her on a firing spree. All the while aiming for ten million frequent flyer miles, an achievement only seven other people have accomplished. These are the things that Ryan finds important, and he's confident that he knows what he wants.
At least he thinks he does. Along the journey, it becomes clear that Ryan is more confused than he lets on. Achieving his goals only to question whether they're what he really wanted, and with young Natalie fighting the corner of love and companionship, soon he beings questioning his philosophy on life.

At its core, Up In The Air is a study of relationships, how they define you, how they consume you and how they can save your life, even if they do tend to ground you in one place.

Reitman proves once again that he's one of today's best indie filmmakers, Jason Bateman puts on a serious face and you can no doubt expect to see more of Anna Kendrick in the future. Famous faces including Zack Galifianakis, J.K. Simmons and Danny McBride appear briefly, cleverly mixed with what appear to be real life testimonials from recently unemployed members of the public, however they all carry the same message: everybody needs a co-pilot.

Up In The Air is at cinemas 15th January.

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