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Flying high

Up In The Air (2009)
Screenplay by: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner (based on a novel by Walter Kim)
Directed by: Jason Reitman
Starring: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, Melanie Lynskey, Danny McBride, Amy Morton, Zach Galifianakis, JK Simmons, Sam Elliott

Synopsis: Ryan Bingham (Clooney) spends most of his life on an airplane, zig-zagging the US firing people for a living. His goal of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and his hotel-based relationship with a fellow frequent flyer (Farmiga) are threatened when a young up-and-comer (Kendrick) at his company comes up with a new business plan that could keep him on the ground permanently.

First off, this film was beautifully directed by Jason Reitman. He had a unique point of view. I particularly liked his shots of luggage being rolled through the airport. The early scene showing Ryan going through airport security was a-maz-ing. (Also, I wish I could get through security that fast!)

The performances overall were wonderful. I very quickly browsed through George Clooney's filmography on IMDb, and I feel confident in saying that this my favorite of his film performances (although I do have a soft spot for Danny Ocean).  Vera Farmiga was fantastic -- I can't believe I've only seen her in a few movies, and I hope to see her in something else soon.  Anna Kendrick was truly a scene stealer, and I loved the incredible emotion she brought to the role of Natalie. I refuse to comment on the fact that she's in the Twilight movies.

Spoiler Alert:  The little twist at the end -- the fact that Farmiga's character Alex was secretly married with a family -- is one I did not see coming. I should of known, though; Ryan and Alex's airport hotel relationship made it rather easy to keep such secrets. I only figured it out right before she opened her front door...as Ryan stepped out of the cab into a residential area, I thought, "Hmm...if Alex is basically the male version of Ryan, wouldn't it be more likely for her to live in some one-bedroom studio instead of a townhouse?" That's when the pieces of the puzzle fell into place for me.