Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, 2009)

Discussions of specific films and franchises.
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:53 pm
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Re: Up In the Air (Jason Reitman, 2009)

#26 Post by eerik » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:40 am

Coca-Cola Company is going to close their factory here in Estonia. And yes, they screened "Up in the Air" to their workers before making them redundant. ](*,)

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Re: Up In the Air (Jason Reitman, 2009)

#27 Post by Murdoch » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:34 pm

Just saw this and it was a very enjoyable film, definitely the best of the oscar noms for best pic. It balances social commentary with romance well, and the actors all did a fantastic job. The film never panders to its audience about the seriousness of the job climate but instead simply lets the unemployed speak for themselves. While I can understand the criticisms of focusing too much on Clooney's story and not enough on what his job entails and the interesting issues brought up by it, I thought the Clooney-Farmiga romance was charming enough where it easily compensated for only lightly touching upon the unemployment climate. I thought it more of a success than Thank You for Smoking, which seemed to think itself cleverer than it actually was and failed at tackling a hot topic with any subtlety, and didn't hit the level of force-fed quirk-fest that Juno was - although I was afraid it might during the early scene where Clooney and Farmiga use their memorabilia from traveling as an incentive for flirting. Anyway, certainly Reitman's best film thus far and I hope he'll continue to evolve as a director since he has the talent to.

Additionally, the deleted scenes gave me the rare pleasure of actually contributing to the viewing experience; there's one scene in particular I enjoyed where Clooney narrates how he regards each person he meets in flight and there's this great moment where he's walking with a guy he befriended and both are headed toward different terminals and right before the guy vanishes behind a wall he glances at Clooney but Clooney doesn't return it. That moment perfectly encapsulates Clooney's character and it's a shame it didn't make the final cut.

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Re: Up In the Air (Jason Reitman, 2009)

#28 Post by aox » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:45 pm

I really loved this film; however, it was severely lacking something. The conflict in general, for lack of words, was completely contrived. It was invented by the characters that confronted Clooney. The response of these characters seemed better suited for Adam Sandler's character in Punch Drunk Love. Clooney never seemed terribly unhappy to me throughout the film. What was the problem? Throughout the film, I was actually being more and more sold on the Clooney from the beginning of the film and I was wanting every character to just simply leave the man alone.

Still, it's a fine film. The acting is fantastic. I think my favorite Clooney performance of all time is the look on his face when she opens the doors and he hears the kids. Such devastation. Absolutely perfect. I just didn't buy the conflict and the purpose of the film.

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Re: Up In the Air (Jason Reitman, 2009)

#29 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:18 am

This was effective in theatres following the financial crisis, but revisiting it in my 30s having settled down into a domestic rhythm, Reitman's film evokes all the honest compromises, hopes, expectations and romanticisms one postures at while keeping things simple to repress how grey and complex the world is; the act of staying present in complacency as both a strength and a default to avoid the unsafe risks that threaten our structure and routine. It's a film where the small worlds (including ones that span the world inside airports and hotel rooms) that we construct for ourselves are allowed to be just as important as another's; a quite conservative film in many respects- validating a selfish vision yet not shying away from the harm occurring acutely in their vicinity, and one that dares to refrain from the cinematic wish fulfillment posing as real life that helps set those unrealistic expectations, even setting up an argument for the path of secure 'head-down' blind travels. It's a film that maturely acknowledges that our fears about being the perpetrator of harm, equating it to a moral issue, is itself rooted in narcissism ("Let someone else do that job, I'm too good for it, don't want that on my conscience"). At the same time, there is unconditional compassion for people on both sides of a harmful transaction and doesn't shame the option that a person may choose a different quality of life, gratefully without transforming it into didactics on ethics or weakness in personality for their respective reactions to stressors.

Of course the grey smoke includes the changing tides of eras shifting, the displacement of normative patterns of everybody's comfort zone, the irreversible time that has affected interpersonal and intrapersonal development that just must 'be', and so it goes. There is so much empathy emitted into the atmosphere here, Reitman and his cast swallowing every tone that feels right in a given moment, quietly and with grace. The scene with the suicide risk is so emotionally affecting yet granted the kind of humor necessary to alleviate a sense of responsibility that it's too real for those who work close to it daily. The marriage talk also reinforces the idea that not only can every decision be argued but all of them have inherent merit that can be unearthed through revelations from communication and rumination, often simpler truths than we need complicate- even if they will inevitably become more complicated than a motivational proverb anyways, as we see by the brutal discovery in the last act. In the end, the most meaningful gestures are passed on without direct contact or reciprocal gratification, and in the face of a lie that shuts down unnecessary honest-at-all-costs highminded morality as the end all/be all definition of character- another admirably conservative move. I'm glad to read so much praise for Kendrick here because she was by far the best aspect about this film back in 2009 and in many ways still is, though the process of weaving the small details that make life worth living, and the paralyzing challenges that make us question the former, into the fabric of an eclectic worldview is perfect.

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