GREEN'S "DO YOU WANT THE CANCER?" REVIEW:
Only six other people in the world have done it. To be the seventh has been Ryan Bingham's (George Clooney) goal for the longest time. But it's a goal he's kept to himself: accumulating a total of ten million air miles. He's even pictured in his mind the conversation he'd have with the airline pilot when he passed the milestone. He's got a great, albeit stressful job flying around the country firing people from their jobs. His company is hired to perform this task when the employer doesn't have the guts to do it themselves. Ryan is perfect for the job because he's single with no kids and unattached, even to his sisters.
On one particular trip, Ryan meets the sexy Alex (Vera Farmiga), a savvy business traveler who is his match in air travel. They start a conversation and become friends. More than friends when their schedules connect.
Then there's Natalie (Anna Kendrick), the bright, sexy, young newcomer to Ryan's company that has a program to bring all of the company's meetings into the virtual world, which will save the company millions per year on air travel and hotel expenses. The boss, Craig (Jason Bateman), loves the idea, but Ryan doesn't. Feeling threatened by this new way of doing business, and therefore losing his freedom, Ryan and Natalie hit the road so she can see what the job is like sitting across from the people whose lives they are ruining in the guise of 'new opportunities.'
Jason Reitman continues to prove that he is one of the best young directors Hollywood has today, following up his previous box office successes Thank You For Smoking and Juno with this film, which was nominated for six Academy Awards at the 2010 Oscars.
The cast is superb. George Clooney continues to show why he's an Oscar winning actor with another smooth, believable, Oscar nominated performance. Less well known are co-stars Vera Farmiga and youngster Anna Kendrick, who each deservedly garnered their own Oscar nominations for their work in this movie. What's up with Jason Bateman? He seems to be in everything that I've seen recently. Bateman and many of the other supporting cast have appeared in multiple films directed by Reitman and they don't disappoint.
Reitman again does a fine job converting previously published material into a fine script and because of this movie, I'm eventually going to read the novel on which it is based.
I found it surprising that this film was shown at twelve different film festivals between September 2009 and its wide US release just before Christmas last year.
This movie would have earned five out of five stars if not for one of the last scenes, which I thought was a bit harsh and caught me off guard.
There wasn't much in the way of extras on the DVD, aside from the director's feature commentary and requisite deleted scenes, which was disappointing.
Even so, this was an excellent movie which deserved all of the hype it received and is worthwhile to own if you're of a mind to do so.
****½ out of *****
Up In The Air (2009, R, 109 minutes), starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick and Jason Bateman. Based on the novel by Walter Kirn. Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner. Directed by Jason Reitman.