In a period of economic recession, it is only the firing companies that thrive on the losses of other companies. Ryan Bingham works for one of these companies. He calls himself a career termination facilitator. He has a secretary, a boss and a home. But they're not a major part of his life. The majority of his life is spent at hotels, airports and in aeroplanes. There exists no real connection between him and other human beings. A middle-aged bachelor executive closing in on 10 million frequent-flier miles, Ryan has his own protocols which he strictly follows. His philosophy is simple- Life is a backpack. He says "Human beings are the heaviest component of our lives." A heavy backpack will slow us down and "the slower we move the faster we die." He is incomprehensible and you don't know much about how he feels and you aren't supposed to, that is, until two women enter and become an important part of his life.
The performances in the film, every one of them, can be described in one word- Invisible. When the movie starts, thanks to the hype, you sit and watch, waiting for something brilliant to happen. To see some REAL acting. But you don't. As time progresses, you forget all the hype and you just watch it as it is, forgetting that all of this is staged. Clooney was born for the role. He is pitch-perfect in playing a guy who is distant yet magnetic, charming and brims with vitality. Anna Kendrick and Vera farmiga don't have as much screen time but when they are with him on screen, they match his energy.
Jason Reitman has done a great job in holding all the pieces of the puzzle together. He gives prominence to the themes in the film by his use of colour schemes. Only after watching "Up in the Air" did I realise that he had done the same in Juno as well. "Juno" had a mix of bright, bold and rich colours- Red,Orange,and yellow to emphasize on it being a simple,breezy and buoyant comedy. "Up in the Air" is more of white and black since it deals with the corporate world. It shows a clear distinction between things. We know Ryan is lonely. The only thing that makes us feel it is his use of colour schemes. Ryan's house was picked to have the barest of necessities and what colour makes that more obvious than white?
Despite the film being shallow in content, it is deftly executed with an equal blend of drama and clever,sarcastic comedy. An engaging, thought provoking film so perfect for its time, it is destined to become a classic. "Up in the Air" will be welcomed by The Academy with a red carpet and maybe an orange one for Jason Reitman.