DVD: Up in the Air (15)
Friday 21 May 2010
This excellent film is given added frisson by the current spectacle of an aviation industry imploding in a fug of volcanic ash and strikes.
Its hero is Ryan (George Clooney), a man whose job is telling other people that they've lost theirs. Clocking up airmiles as he swoops in to deliver the bad news, he lives by the mantra "moving is living" and dreams of one day getting his name on the side of a plane.
Jason Reitman's stylish film has a Mad Men feel, fetishising the whirr of a wheel-on suitcase, the swipe of a frequent-flyer card, the rattle of ice in tiny glasses. As seen through Ryan's eyes, airports are the closest thing to heaven on earth until his nomadic lifestyle is threatened by the eruption of two strong women into his professional and private lives. Natalie (Anna Kendrick) is a bright young colleague who "types with purpose" and scatterguns her speech with buzzwords like "glocal", while Alex (Vera Farmiga) is a sexy exec who shares Ryan's taste for business trips with added bonuses. The scene is set for a classic rom-com, but Reitman avoids convention at almost every turn: his leads bond geekily over executive cards and laptops and court at unglamorous corporate shin-digs. This is romance with a knowing sting in the tail.
Clooney is on fine form, smarm just hiding hints of malaise and Jason Bateman is great as his bumptious boss. The film's real joy, though, lies in its two unpredictable female leads. Kendrick has rightly made her name with her brittle ball-breaker, while in Farmiga Clooney has met his perfect match.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 A third of employers never check job applicants' qualifications, survey finds
- 4 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
- 5 Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
The Top Ten: Horrible buildings
JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbuck
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
American film board gives gay film Love Is Strange R-rating despite no sex or violence
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women