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Film Review: Up in the Air

This is a cute little film starring George Clooney — and I mean really starring, not just "he's in it". Clooney dominates the entire film. He plays Ryan Bingham, a "career transition" consultant. Basically, he flies around the country firing people for a living, providing sympathy and advice and kits on how to deal with unemployment. In the current economic climate in the US, business is booming. We see many workplaces: some are normal, others have already been devastated by earlier rounds of cuts, their jobs eliminated by social, economic and technological changes.

Ryan himself is facing the prospect of redundancy, or at least a change in lifestyle, with a switch from firing people face to face to doing it over the internet, thereby saving travel costs. And while his transitory world of hotel rooms and airports — not to mention his job itself, which is pretty soul destroying — it is his world and his job. And for the rest of us, it is a component of our own, which inevitably has its transitory and soul destroying moments.
And now that job security is a thing of the past, all of our jobs are on the line. So this is a film about our time.

Clooney puts in a stellar performance and should win the Oscar. He is supported by brilliant performances from Vera Farmiga as his girlfriend Alex and Anna Kendrick as co-worker Natalie, who have also got to rated as chances.