Up in the Air

Director: Jason Reitman
Year Released: 2009
Rating: 3.0

A somewhat depressing but functional celebration of - or, perhaps, a 'toleration' for - the impermanence of life. George Clooney's travelling ax-man has his own job and livelihood threatened when a young upstart (Anna Kendrick) concocts a new computerized method of firing people via the Internet, thereby eliminating his carefree lifestyle and trapping him in an office. Yes, it does become heavy-handed at times, but here is a case where I think the timeliness of material plays a big part in its success (subsequent viewings in later years may lower the rating): it isn't the most complicated movie ever made about the corporate world, but it does touch on issues that need, well, touching: the inhumanity of teleconferencing, the 'heaviness' of life to force one to 'settle down' and the begrudging acceptance of whatever life hands to you (one woman threatens to jump from a building ... and does so, while another man decides, after being fired, to go back and pursue a fulfilling second career), all of which are pressing issues in 2009. Clooney's character, at the end, changes and dies a little, down on the ground.