Thursday, December 24, 2009
Up in the Air - Ashman movie Review
After watching Up in the Air on the eve of a Christmas where there are more people out of work than in any point in my lifetime it becomes abundantly clear that Jason Reitman has lived a life of privilege and nepotism that hasn't lead him to deal with real suffering. In what's being labeled as the movie of "our time", he puts the protagonist (George Clooney) as a job terminator who's real job is not to care. Sounds good on paper but when the people who suffer so much just equate to window dressing to make us feel something for the rich guy my appreciation for the film evaporates up in the air.
Not that there aren't things to like in this film. The performances by the two female leads Vera Farmiga & Anna Kendrick are stellar. It's such a nice change to see more than one female do damage in a film that centers on the male ego. There's some fun dialogue, cameos and jokes but this is largely a film to go see to feel safe from the cold external world we live in. I know there is a lot of praise for Clooney in this film, and he is undeniably good. But for me it's a little too much like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler last yer; a good performance of someone essentially playing themselves. As much as I like Clooney as a Hollywood activist, director, with awesome comic work, I'm still waiting for the role that really moves me. My favorite performance of his to this date is Out of Sight. Until then he remains a great, handsome guy who has his heart in the right place.
In the end I don't feel this movie will age well because it's not really about much. Well-to-do white company man goes through some life examination and changes, a little. I feel it's a little insulting to America's newly unemployed, especially the nearly 50% in Detroit. Sorry Reitman, but you need to deliver something more than a gingerbread man to make a meaningful film. What the critics promised was a rich original recipe, what we got was just a plain old Hollywood sugar coating.
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