Volume 47, Number 9 - December 14, 2009

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Monique Dos Anjos
Monique Dos Anjos

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Picture of George Clooney
George Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a company downsizer.

'Up in the Air' gets Oscar buzz

By Monique Dos Anjos

“Up in the Air,” directed by Jason Reitman, is by far the most sound and timely film this year. For the 2009 recession, there is no better film to watch than George Clooney as Ryan Bingham, a company downsizer. Corporate bosses would hire Bingham to handle the dirty work for them.

Bingham is a man who travels constantly, firing people without true consideration as to how they feet.  But, he suddenly becomes “grounded” when his company takes on new methods of putting people out of work.

College grad, Natalie Keener, played by Anna Kendrick, is a threat to Bingham and his joy of flying solo. When she has no idea how to handle people in a job that is about bringing bad news, Bingham decides to show her how it’s done.

“With this movie I wrote it with, like, eight of the actors in mind,” Reitman said. “It really helps me find the voice of the part.”

There is some Oscar buzz for Vera Farmiga, playing the female version of “Ryan Bingham,” and Anna Kendrick for best supporting actress. Farmiga, mostly known for her mainstream role in “The Departed,” is a veteran actress, giving her an upper-hand for Oscar votes, but Kendrick won over the National Board of Review, making her and Farmiga even, according to writer Gary Susman from moviefone.com.

With the way Keener comes off as the naïve college-grad and Bingham as a guy who only takes himself into consideration, these characters come to terms with their flaws in an ever-changing economy.

Food for thought is the seriousness of how people react to company downsizing. It is unexpected and unfortunate. With the unemployment rate  at 10 percent and 11,000 job losses reported in November, “Up in the Air” respectfully provides the points-of-view from those who have lost their jobs.

“I really find a joy in humanizing tricky character. It’s not only finding a subject matter that is divisive or polarizing but it’s finding someone on the wrong side of the issue,” Reitman said. “It’s humanizing a person that we have a hard time with.”

Although “Up in the Air” contains malicious satire on a serious topic, it is worth watching.

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