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Saturday, December 26, 2009

MisenPOPic Movie Review: Up In The Air

One of the things that I hate most in life and especially in Hollywood is nepotism. It always bothers me to see sons, brothers, sisters, and cousins of big stars make it in the business because of a famous father or sibling. Just look at the following examples of those with lesser talent who stuck around: Frank Stallone, Debbie Boone, Julian Lennon, Kate Hudson, Joel Murray, Chad Lowe, and Khloe & Kourtney Kardashian (okay! maybe a bad example since none of the Kardashians have any real talent!) Maybe I'm just jealous that I never had the opportunity to use my mom or dad's name to become a A-List celebrity! When I found out that Jason Reitman was the son of legendary movie director Ivan Reitman (best known for directing some of my favorite movies of all time such as Meatballs, Twins, and Ghostbusters), I was once again skeptical if this was another case of nepotism in order for Reitman to get himself a good deal. He probably did, but the guy actually has enough talent to have made it on his own. His first picture, Thank You For Smoking, was a sleeper hit and one that I thought was better than expected due to part to an outstanding performance from Aaron Eckhardt. Retiman's second film was Juno, which I wasn't too thrilled with. Of course it was a darling with the critics (especially Roger Ebert who gushed over in) which led to a nomination for Best Film at the 2007 Oscars. Keep in mind that although Reitman directed the movie, he was not involved in the screenwriting process. The one responsible for Diablo Cody, whose second film she wrote and also directed (Jennifer's Body) was a critical and financial disaster. I thought Juno was a beautifully directed movie, but the story and characters were kind of flat. When news broke that Reitman's third movie, Up In The Air, was coming to theaters in December and was another big hit with the critics, I was curious to see if if Reitman could duplicate another great movie like Thank You For Smoking, or another dud like Juno.

Well, I saw the movie as part of my annual Christmas tradition, and was totally blown away. Up In The Air is totally deserving of all of the accolades and was on my Top 10 List for 2009. I'm not a big fan of George Clooney, but this role suited him to a tee. He'll get an Oscar nomination, but although he probably deserves the award, he probably won't get it because he was kind of just playing a version of himself. Vera Famiga was outstanding in what is probably her breakout role, and I smell Oscar buzz either as Best Actress of Best Supporting Actress. She was brilliant, and also kudos to her for a nice and surprising nude scene. In fact, everyone in the movie was outstanding including Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, JK Simmons, and Danny McBride. I also could tolerate Amy Morton (who gave us the worst acting performance ever as the mother in Rookie Of The Year!) I also loved that just like Thank For For Smoking, the movie's theme was very dark and cold. You wanted to root for George Clooney's character (Ryan Bingham) but it was very hard because he was so cold and unable to accept the rules of society. For god's sake, this character was a lonely soul on the road for most of the year informing employees that they were out of a job. Although he thought he could change and become a caring person thanks in part to his relationships with two new women in his life, it would be a complete obstacle for him. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but if you are expecting the typical happy ever after ending like most movies, you won't be seeing it in this movie. If this did happen, the movie would have gotten a worst rating from me.

I'm pretty confident that Up In The Air is going to win for Best Picture not just for being a well-written, well-acted, and well-directed movie, but because it is a good representation of the current economic situation our country is in. Again, one of the best movies of the year as well as the second best movie I have ever seen on Christmas! The only knock I had with the movie was the lousy soundtrack. Couldn't Reitman have used a nice symphonic score from James Horner or Alan Silvestri instead of the random indie music? I'm just a stickler, sorry! Up In The Air is currently my pick for Best Movie at the Academy Awards. And also, Jason Reitman is going to do something his father never did, win an Oscar for Best Director! This time around, the son might be a little bit better than daddy!

Grade: A (Met Expectations, Highly recommended!)

1 comment:

  1. OK Mike, you've got me hooked. I wasn't planning on seeing this film, it was rated down there along with Precious in terms of content, but now I just may see it! Bob always works on Xmas but we do usually manage a film during the busy week.

    Yesterday We saw Sherlock Holmes and it was incredible. Madonna's husband did a brilliant job directing this cast, it was like a Dickensian 007...then we topped it off with a 1946 Rathbone version on TCM! Ahh, post-Xmas bliss!!!