Review: Up In The Air

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The Pitch: Can it be easier to hear you’re out of a job if Gorgeous George tells you?

The Review: George Clooney is the very definition of the modern leading man. Having struggled to find the right kind of roles during the early part of his film career post-ER, he settled into a groove in the last decade, able to deliver smooth sophistication for the Ocean’s movies, tense unpredictability in films such as Syriana and even various goofballs for the Coen brothers.

But this is something slightly new again, and marks him out as possibly the James Stewart of his generation – comfortable with the leading man role, but with other possibilities lurking underneath. Oscar talk is maybe a little flattering here, but nonetheless Clooney makes the most of what he’s given here, and that’s quite a lot.

It helps to have excellent support, and from the excellent Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, through to small support roles from the likes of Danny McBride and J.K. Simmons, everyone’s on their game. The movie itself follows a familiar flight path, but takes enough twists and turns to keep it consistently enjoyable, and the dialogue constantly pleases and sparkles.

Jason Reitman keeps a good rhythm to proceedings; less of a flashy visualist, he still makes sure the plot always has forward momentum, even through to the redemptive but ultimately honest ending. A particularly resonant product of the current environment, especially if you’ve ever sat on the other side of that table.

Why see it at the cinema: So as not to put all the nice staff at the cinema out of a job if their takings are down. Also, they went to the effort of going to lots of different airports, rather than just the same one dressed up differently – if they made the effort, why shouldn’t you?

The Score: 9/10

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