LAST weekend, with the kids busy playing, I flicked through different channels determined to sit through a good movie, but lazy to get up and search for DVDs.
Our cable tv provider has this channel called Eurosat (ES channel) which often shows really weird films – “B” movies I call them, low budgeted films often of the slasher pic genre.
Anyway that Saturday night I finally found a non-B movie in ES. The movie began with a voice that seemed oh-so familiar.
Then the title: Up in The Air. Also familiar. The lead: George Clooney. I held my breath. Just the name is enough to keep me glued. Thought in mind: bury the remote somewhere so Hubby would not be flipping through channels again, and again, and again. (You know how guys are with the remote.)
George Clooney is fantastic as Ryan Bingham, a career transition counselor, a corporate downsizer. A what? He works for a company that sends people across the U.S. to fire people in behalf of the big bosses who do not have the balls to do it themselves. They break the bad news to employees, then offer them packages (separation pay, etc.) and utter kind words on what they can do now that they have lost their jobs.
I cannot imagine having to look people in the eye and tell them the company they have worked for in the last twenty years had decided to give them the boot. You have to be really good at dealing with people and imparting truly inspiring words if this is your job.
The movie makes allusion to a backpack – the weight you carry in your life, and Ryan Bingham gives the message that personal relationships are the heaviest burdens in our backpacks.
(“Make no mistake your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. All those negotiations and arguments and secrets, the compromises. The slower we move the faster we die. Make no mistake, moving is living. Some animals were meant to carry each other to live symbiotically over a lifetime. Star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not swans. We are sharks.”)
Come to think of it, George Clooney fits the role to a T, being a 49-year-old bachelor with a string of model/actress young girlfriends and no plans of settling down, and to date has no known love child (ah, wasted genes!). Not only that, but he can be sitting in front of me, telling me World War III is about to begin and I would be lost in his gorgeous eyes, not able to process what bad news he is trying to break until some nuclear bomb has blasted and the world is overtaken by roaches.
(And the last image before my eyes, as my life flashes before me, will be George...)
This is one film that demands complete attention, one you have to really listen to, to be able to fully comprehend and “feel” it. The phrase “up in the air” applies to the film’s characters in so many ways possible. I recommend it for people who devote all their time to a career, or who have so far detached themselves from personal relationships in favor of some other purpose. It is an awfully sad ode to how we tend to pursue this goal and that, only to feel just as empty once we reach it.
The ending of the film is very literal...and literally very painful. Watch it and sigh.
I doubt that Clooney will get an Oscar nod for Best Actor on this one, though (But, well, who knows? Oscar surprises are no surprise.) But it’s ok, honey bear with googly eyes, you can’t have it all. (firstname.lastname@example.org)