I fail to get enthusiastic about ‘Up in the Air’. It may be because corporate life is no strange thing to me, it may be because romantic comedies or professional dramas are not my piece of cake, it may be because I was starting to develop so high expectations about George Clooney that seeing a film where he is just good, and not better than in a previous one comes as a disappointment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7k6FwXJhNk

(video source TrailersUpdate)

Or maybe it is the subject. Firing people from their jobs (‘terminating’ theme as the euphemism goes in this film) is no laughing matter and even if it was unavoidable that it becomes subject to a major movie some day, the intermingling of this theme with a few other (like life of the big corporate travelers addicted to their frequent fliers programs, or the romantic them of the eternal bachelor facing mid-life crisis and catching the opportunity to make a change towards the conventional track) did not really work to me. The story of corporate job terminator Bingham (Clooney) facing the termination or at least radical change of his own job because of the appearance in his own company of rookie Natalie (Anna Kendrick) who tries to revolutionize the business endangering his jet style of life, while his personal life seems to be at pick when he meets his female mirrored image in Alex (Vera Famiga) combines several conventional threads, and cannot make out of the combination an original movie.

(video source Qtv)

I do not have anything special to say about director Jason Reitman does most of the time – he does a fair job but having Clooney in the lead role is like coaching a soccer team with Messi in the opening squad. Actually Clooney although well cast does not do anything special, he just plays his own role – enough for a good performance, disappointing if we consider how well he changed skins in most of his films lately. Famiga is OK, and only Anna Kendrick succeeds to break the ranks and to bring to skin an emotional ingenue which crosses the screen in a sincere interpretation.

(video by mdelar)

The best part of the film are the one shot scenes of people being fired. It is here that Reitman had his touch of genius. He put an add in a St. Louis newspaper and gather real people who lost their jobs recently, and enacted their feelings and emotions in the moments when they received the hit for the camera. These are the moments when we feel the true life, these are the scenes when we can understand the dramas that take place at the personal level, part of the bigger picture drama of the economic crisis that engulfed America. This is actually the best cinema in this film, the rest is just Hollywood wrapping.