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Academy Award Nominated Movie Review 5: Up in the Air


Ryan Bingham has a unique job: he flies around the country, firing employees because their bosses are too afraid to do so. He also gives an occasional lecture as a motivational speaker, promoting "What's in Your Backpack?" which advises employees to empty their life of people and things and enjoy that freedom. This pretty much describes Ryan's life as his one and only goal is to obtain ten million frequent flyer miles with American Airlines, which will earn him executive status in their Frequent Flyers Club, and his name on the side of an aircraft. Ryan has this goal because he spends most of his time in the air. Two new elements then enter his life that will unknowingly change him: the first is another frequent flyer named Alex, who begins a casual relationship with him. The other is that he is called back to his company in Ohama, Nebraska, to find out that a new coworker named Natalie has suggested firing people over the Internet instead of in person, to save costs. Ryan is heavily against this so his boss assigns him to take Natalie with him on his next few travels to show her how its "really done". During these travels, Ryan and Natalie become better acquainted and they eventually meet up with Alex, but then things start going out of control and Ryan faces life chaning decisions. The thing I love most about this movie is how it takes the audience into the world of a job that not many people have expierienced before. Not to mention that it was fun and funny to follow these characters along their journys and see how they grow like George Clooney as Ryan who starts seeming pretty cynnical but his sharp wit and expertise pull the audience in enough for us to like him and want to follow him. Vera Farminga plays Alex with an air that's mysterious and that there's more to her than she seems. Plus Anna Kendrick as the straight laced Natalie who slowly learns to unravel, is really fun and heart-warming, if not adorable, to watch as Natalie shows her human side which a lot of people can relate to. The story was well written and just felt snug and well told. While the factor about employees being fired hits a little too close to home these days, the movie is still fun to watch and well made and it just feels like an old fashioned Academy Award nominated film which is a good thing. Overall, I give this film 3 and 1/2 stars out of 5.

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