A Movie for our Times

This afternoon, a little bit later than usual, we went out to see our annual Christmas picture. We originally thought we were going to go see “Nine”, but the reviews on it were lukewarm (plus, from what I understand, they cut out young Guido) that we decided on something else. Other possibilities includes “Avatar” (although six_gun_samurai summarized it best as “Dances with Wolves in Outer Space”), “It’s Complicated”, or “The Princess and the Frog”, and “Up In The Air”. We decided on “Up In The Air” because of the show time and the good word of mouth it was getting. We may still see some of the other candidates before I return to work.

“Up In The Air” (henceforth, UITA) stars George Clooney as a man whose job it is to fly from place to place and fire people, to provide the human connection to (so to speak) cushion the blow. He has a side effort of talking about how people have too many connections, be they “stuff” or people. He prides himself on having no connections, other than a casual friends-with-benefits connection with another frequent traveler (Vera Farmiga). His only goal in life is to reach 10M frequent flyer miles. Into his company comes Natalie (Anna Kendrick) who convinces his boss (Jason Bateman) to move to a VTC setup. Will this work? Will Clooney’s character find a connection?

I found UITA to be… interesting. I didn’t walk out going “that was a great movie”. But I also didn’t find myself watching the cinematography. I got caught up in the story and the acting, which is actually the sign of a good movie. The story was interesting, and I recognized the life of a flyer. However, it didn’t have the ending I expected. It certainly isn’t one of those touchy-feeley uplifting movies (there would have probably been a happy ending with “It’s Complicated”).

This is a movie that has a definate resonance in today’s world of downsized companies. People see themselves in the position of the downsized person, and perhaps this movie is succeeding because we don’t want the people that live for the downsizing to be happy. But inside of yourself, you do, for this movie humanizes them as well. Perhaps this is the dichotomy that makes this movie interesting.

Clooney played his normal suave self — I’m not sure if he can play much else, but he is sure good at it. Farmiga was good, especially in the wedding scenes. Kendrick came off as that green newbie who thinks their idea is the best thing since sliced bread, and it was interesting to see her growth.

As for the upcoming trailers: Not that much was of interest. Let’s see. There was “From Paris With Love”, “Shutter Island”, “Date Night”, and “The Lovely Bones”. Nothing I want to see.