Up in the Air
Produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Jason Reitman
Screenplay by Sheldon Turner, adapting Walter Kirn’s novel
Produced and distributed by Dimension Films
Directed by John Hillcoat
Screenplay by Joe Penhall, adapting Cormac McCarthy’s novel
George Clooney, well-groomed and exceedingly fit at 49, seems perfect as Ryan Bingham, the conscienceless protagonist of Up in the Air. He’s a man who disposes of people for both profit and recreation. By day he is a frequent-flying hatchet man or, to use the preferred term in America’s ever-expanding dictionary of euphemisms, “transition counselor.” He flies wherever needed 320 days a year to fire people whose bosses would rather not swing the ax themselves. After hours, he philanders as ruthlessly as he terminates. Once his job is done and he’s had his fun, he moves on to make his next connection, whether it’s a flight or another cutie. All the while, whether on land or in the ether, he floats contentedly on a cloud of well-nurtured self-congratulation.
Bingham is good at his job because he has fully embraced the virtues of the transience he urges on his “clients.” So pleased with his modern no-strings life, he has even packaged it for a spin-off...