Up in the Air

COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 49min

STARRING: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick

Fired up: Kendrick and Clooney

Ryan Bingham (Clooney, crisply attractive as a freshly pressed shirt) fires people for a living. He does a clean, considerate job of it and the upside, as he sees it, is that he’s on the road and in the air for 322 days of a happening year. With an otherwise sterile life, Ryan lives for the synthetic buzz of his frequent-flier miles. But the times they are downsizing and he’s feeling the effect in the snippy presence of corporate up-and-comer Natalie (Kendrick), whose plan is to deliver mass sackings online.


Having just met his sensual match (Farmiga, luscious as Alex) in transit, Ryan is especially unwilling to be grounded. He’s not a malicious man, just an unawakened one and overdue for a new reality. With Natalie in tow, the kindly hatchet man jets off on a tour of duty that in today’s economy is sadly relevant. This being a dryly simpatico Jason Reitman ( Juno) ride-along (substantially remodelled from Walter Kirn’s 2001 novel), it’s also imbued with deepening shades of discovery that jolt a pro forma flight plan to a disconcerting destination.