Watch Up in the Air
- 1 hr 49 min
Up in the Air is a 2009 American drama film directed by Jason Reitman, based on the 2001 novel of the same name by Walter Kirn. The movie stars George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick in the lead roles. Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizing expert of a company that specializes in firing people on behalf of bosses who are too cowardly to face their employees. Binghamâs constant flying lifestyle has made him a elite member of an airlineâs frequent flyer program, and his ultimate goal is to achieve 10 million miles. He is a lone wolf who enjoys a life of travel, hotels, and room service.
Bingham is great at what he does - his signature line is "the slower we move, the faster we die" - but his company has plans to downsize their operation and introduce a new system of video conferencing to reduce the need for travel. Binghamâs boss (played by Jason Bateman) assigns him to take a young and ambitious new hire, Natalie Keener (Kendrick), on the road with him so she can learn from him and conduct the downsizing meetings via her computer screen.
Initially, Bingham sees Natalie as a nuisance, but she convinces him that firing people via video conferencing is not the humane way to let them go. Along the way, the duo travels to various cities to conduct the layoffs, and they meet Alex Goran (Farmiga), a fellow frequent flyer who Bingham sees as his soulmate. They begin a casual, non-committal relationship both physically and emotionally until Alexâs husband and children come into the picture, elucidating a different side of Alex's life than the life of anonymous luxury Bingham lives in his job.
Throughout the movie, Bingham juggles the challenge of job security, the intersection of technology with personal connections, and his own loneliness. He talks to strangers in airport lounges, and shares hotel minibars with them as a temporary therapy session. And then he struggles to help his sister with her wedding day, finding a new realization of his own priorities as he faces the prospect of a life similar to his sister's.
The film features strong performances from the lead cast. Clooney delivers a masterful portrayal of a man who has numbed himself to the realities of life through constant travel, while Kendrick is excellent in her breakthrough role as the naive-looking, yet ambitious young college graduate who is not familiar with the rules of corporate life. Farmiga delivers a nuanced performance as a woman who sees a common ground with Bingham as they navigate the tricky waters of casual dating among frequent flyers.
Up in the Air is a thought-provoking movie that delves into the meaning and purpose of work, and the impact of technology on human lives. The movie manages to infuse a serious subject with humor, style, and grace. Reitmanâs direction creates a memorable and compelling story that invites the audience to see the world through the eyes of Bingham, and ultimately reminds everyone of the importance of human connection.
Up in the Air is a 2009 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 49 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4 and a MetaScore of 83.