Festival darling Reitman has crafted a mature, nuanced, funny film about frequent flyer points and corporate downsizing.
Clooney is at the absolute top of his game here, with a mix of misplaced bravado and a quiet absurdity that he injects into every scene. The rest of the cast, from Jason Bateman to JK Simmons, are an absolute delight. But it is Vera Farmiga who turns in an absolutely lovely performance, full of complexity and spirit.
The timing for the film’s plot is perfect, given the current economic malaise. There are but a few laugh out loud moments, but there’s a gentle humour throughout. Expectations are constantly undermined, and as each story entwines itself we learn, in time, that things are certainly not what they first appear to be.
This is an intelligent enough story to be taken seriously, and warm and funny enough to be thoroughly enjoyable. Look for it to be a critical darling, one that’s likely to do quiet well come awards time.
Quite simply, Reitman proves with Up in the Air that the sky’s the limit for his career – he has proven with his three films to be one of the premiere directors of his generation.