Though I’m already finished my quest to see 75 movies in 2010 which I had never seen before, I’m still working to set the bar to see what I should strive for in years to come.

With all the award nominations cast upon Up In The Air, it certainly made my list of films to see.  George Clooney typically picks good roles and does (at the very least) a good job in bringing his characters to the big screen, and Up In The Air was no exception to that.  For folks who have a dislike for Clooney because they tend to think that his seemingly charming nature might be fake, don’t shy away from Up In The Air – there’s very little (if any) of that in this role.  What you get here is a very humanized George Clooney who does well to portray a character who doesn’t seem overly comfortable with anything which might be familiar, creature comforts to the rest of us.  He gives a heart to a character who makes a living at helping organizations fire people in the nicest way possible.

Anna Kendrick, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses, does a great role in this film, though you’d never know it unless you see one of her other performances first (I’d recommend “The Marc Pease Experience” with Ben Stiller).  If you go into this movie unaware of her other work, you might think Kendrick’s odd portrayal of her character is a result of some lacking of acting experience.  On the contrary, when she’s monotone or seemingly dull, it’s because that’s how she’s playing the character.

Though her role in The Departed didn’t provide for a ton of on-screen time, I certainly took notice of Vera Farmiga and was looking forward to seeing more of her work, and she certainly didn’t disappoint in this film, which I actually thought she was better in than The Departed (which is a better film).

Bit parts (which were slightly bigger than something I might call a cameo, but I suppose that’s likely semantics) from J.K. Simmons and Zach Galifianakis were definitely fun, as they’re both actors whose work I’ve come to really appreciate in the past year.

I was surprised by the part played by Danny McBride, which really goes to show what sort of good work he can do with a role which doesn’t include absurd character traits.  Melanie Lynskey continues to impress me more and more in each role I see her in, and I’ll be looking to see how her career progresses.

If you get bored easily by character-driven movies, then maybe you should stay clear of Up In The Air.  There’s not a lot of action and the storyline driving elements aren’t up in your face.  It’s a really good movie, but I’m guessing that a large portion of the GuysNation readers won’t appreciate it.

Their loss.


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