One of the things I have been trying to do more of lately is go to the movies and generally watch movies/DVD's that I want to see. I always seem to be saying "Oh, I really wanted to see that" but by the time I have gotten around to it the movie has moved on from the cinema and I then have to wait what feels like forever for it to come out on DVD.
So, my partner and I went on the weekend to see the new movie starring, among others, George Clooney - Up In The Air. I should probably first admit my bias for anything that involves Clooney - I am a huge fan of his work (and his looks!) so I was destined to like this movie anyway but I have to say I thought it was a great piece of work overall. I found the whole cast brilliant - of course Clooney stood out for me but I also thought he was outshone at times in particular by his co-star Anna Kendrick.
The movie centres around the experiences of Clooney's character Ryan Bingham, an American business executive whose job it is to fly around the country firing people. Bingham loves his lifestyle - he spends over 300 days a year in the air and away from his "home" and he has what many people would view as superficial and transitory relationships with anyone who has entered his life. I loved the scenes where Bingham is shown preparing for his trips and moving through the airport processes - I must admit I could kind of like that lifestyle too I think!
The company that Bingham works for has just hired Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) straight from college and she has some pretty radical ideas about how the company can change it's work practices and save money by moving to firing people via video link up. Needless to say Bingham is not happy about these proposed changes and sets about showing Keener just how his world operates - and why it needs to operate in the way it does - both for the employees who are receiving the news but also for himself.
The movie touches on some very real and topical issues for workers in the current climate and I thought this material was handled really well and in a way that makes the audience think about the real human and community effects evolving from economic problems. The personal lives of the characters were blended strongly with their working persona's to create complete, holistic and real characters with strengths and flaws. Totally watchable - and not just for Clooney!