Peer Pressure: Go See “Up In The Air”

When I first heard about “Up In The Air,” it sounded a lot like “The Terminal,” only with George Clooney instead of Tom Hanks, which is an instant, mega-upgrade. Now that the flick from 32-year-old writer/director Jason Reitman (“Thank You For Smoking,” “Juno”) has been out for a week, everyone is going “Up in the Air” crazy. It has already been named Best Film of 2009 by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures—which means it’s essentially the “Slumdog Millionaire” of 2009. The movies the Board of Review picked the last two years (“Slumdog” and “No Country for Old Men”) both got Oscars for Best Picture. The movie has also received Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Supporting Actress (Anna Kendrick of “Twilight“), and Best Adapted Screenplay. As we covered in this week’s “Trailer Park,” the movie tells the story of a corporate down-sizer who’s forced to examine his isolated wanderlust lifestyle. And apparently, Reitman has hit another one out of the park, carefully piecing together an existence that’s poignantly tragicomic. Sounds like this low-budget ($25 million) underdog not only depicts the awful recession-core state of unemployment, but proves that you don’t need $300 billion (cough “Avatar”) to make a film that actually touches people and makes them consider how they’re living their lives. You just need a really solid script and the patience to give small human interactions the gravity they deserve. So hurry to the theater, before it becomes one of those movies that’s perpetually sold out! [LA Times]