Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Up in the Air (film)

The rarest of things, an original.

George Clooney (the character's name somehow failed to register) has constructed for himself the most hollow and hellish existence imaginable, doing the most worthless conceivable job in conditions of empty luxury.

And yet he has found a contentment too real to be call false, and a righteous path of his own choosing. He has made a religion of his own life, and preaches it to the benefit of others. He is a happy and likeable man.

He is destroyed when the fates send him an acolyte who can see some part of the truth of things. An encounter with a truly contented soul leaves him staring into the void.

Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick are glorious as Anna and Natalie. Sam Elliot does a lovely cameo as the Chief Pilot.

George Clooney plays the George Clooney character with his usual faultless perfection. What will we do when he is gone? I cannot imagine any other actor who could have carried this off. In most people's hands the protagonist would have been utterly unsympathetic, and the film would have failed.

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