|Title:||Up in the Air|
|05.03.10||Netflix|| So it's been a few days since I've seen this. I wanted to let it sit a bit before writing notes on it and here's why:|
At first, it was interesting to me how filmmakers... their path of maturation sometimes seems to correlate to a movement away from fun. This is a good movie and Clooney's good in it and blah blah blah it's good all around, but you know... so is Thank You for Smoking. Except Smoking was more upbeat than downbeat and Air is has more drama than comedy. Is the movie considered a "more mature" work because it's really honestly better filmmaking or is it perceived as stronger work just because it makes you cry. Wes Anderson also seems to be on this path where from Bottle Rocket to Rushmore to Royal Tennenbaums to Life Aquatic you have a generally-perceived maturation of the artist but you also have movies slowly getting less funny and more caught up in themselves. I think this is a dangerous confusion to make because i'll be honest when I say that I'd rather re-watch Bottle Rocket than Life Aquatic.
So with this movie, I was initially wary of calling it better than Reitman's two previous films because a large part of me believes it's not. It's just sadder than his two previous films. If that's an indication that he has a better handle on his craft and that really if he could've made his other work sadder he would've then that's fine but I don't believe that. I think this story is just a little more melancholy. Couple that with George Clooney perfectly cast as someone who downplays his emotions and it comes out as better.
With a few days to ponder on that, i've decided it doesn't matter. It's not like Juno didn't get any attention or anything. At this point i think it's safe to say that Jason Reitman is a real force and the movies he makes are good. Which one I personally prefer and which one is objectively his best are irrelevant to anyone that's not me.
So with that, I liked how Reitman purposefully didn't end it with any specific message. I wouldn't've liked this movie nearly as much had Clooney somehow became a different person (or not) and I'm really glad all those deleted scenes on the DVD were not in the movie. I also loved the one quick shot of Anna Kendrick facing away from us on the airport people-mover toward the end of the film. It's one of my favorite little bits and - to me - a real sign of filmic maturity.
My one complaint is that most of the actors mentioned in the beginning titles shouldn't have really been there. It should've just been Clooney, Farmiga, and Kendrick. OK Maybe Jason Bateman too. I felt a bit set up by seeing names like Zach Galifianakis, J.K. Simmons, Sam Elliot, Melanie Lynsky, and Danny Mcbride right up front only to have them in one scene in the entire film. It would've been a nice little surprise to see them peppered throughout the movie instead of expecting them to either return or waiting for them to show up.
Wow talked a lot about this one. Glad I gave it some thought. A really good movie.