Up In The Air, the newest film from Oscar nominated director Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You for Smoking), tells the story of a seemingly happy, yet cynical business traveler (George Clooney) who spends his life jetting from airport to airport. Ryan Bingham (Clooney) is a corporate downsizer, hired by large businesses to fire employees during an economic crisis. As he travels around the country, he finds comfort in the aspects that most people hate about flying: tight cabins, synthetic oxygen. He is the member of every travel rewards program imaginable and has a mileage goal in mind less than 10 people have ever reached. But Ryan's world is thrown for a loop when his boss (Jason Bateman) decides to cut costs with an idea from newcomer Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) to ground his employees, for good. With no real home to return to, Ryan is faced with the prospect of setting up a stable base--something he has avoided all his life. With some help from a sultry, conspicuous traveler, Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga), and his sister's wedding approaching, Ryan gets a glance at a life he never thought he could have, and a true connection with another person.
I had the privilege of seeing a screening of this movie last night, and I highly recommend it. With just the right combination of sarcasm, irony, and heart, this film delivers on numerous levels. If the acting doesn't get you, then the script certainly will. Quick wit, insight, and blunt comments make for an unpredictable and enjoyable ride through the life of the ultimate traveler. You do not need to be a jetsetter to appreciate this film, or someone who has been fired, or someone who has fired someone else. You just have to be someone who relates to the curveballs life can deliver. Because it ultimately begs the question: Where will you go next?