Love Is In The Air: 7 Gushing Reviews of Jason Reitman's Latest
After tackling the yellow-toothed, morally askew world of tobacco lobbyists in Thank You For Smoking and the shenanigan-heavy misadventures of a pregnant teen in Juno, it would appear Jason Reitman has made it three-for-three with Up in the Air, whose world premiere at Telluride left breathless critics grasping for oxygen masks as they attempted to capture just how witty, well-acted, and downright zeitgeisty Reitman's latest effort is.
Based on the Walter Kirn novel, but by all accounts lifting the material to new heights, it stars George Clooney as a slick, commitmentphobic charmer who's got life down to a science. (Sound familiar?) Clooney's job consists almost entirely of traveling, as he traverses the country bringing a personal touch to the bad news for corporate employees who've been recently laid off. (Also sound familiar?) The crowning touch: Reitman interviewed actual downsizees, 24 of whom were used in the film.
We'll offer our own impressions from the Toronto International Film Festival later this week. To tide you over until then, here's a sampling of what some of the Telluride attendees have been saying. We've also included the clip Paramount provided today to Apple Trailers, featuring a verbal ping pong match between Clooney's character and his new airport lounge friend, played by Vera Farmiga -- two too-smart-for-their-own-good ships just passing in the night.
1. "Let's make it clear right now: Oscar nominations are likely assured for best picture, director, screenplay, actor for Clooney and supporting actress for either Anna Kendrick as the young know-it-all who threatens Clooney's job security or Vera Farmiga as a one-night stand who keeps on giving. Perhaps both will get nods. This is one of the smartest adult comedies in some time...Clooney has never seemed so appealing -- or vulnerable -- on-screen, and many were noting how the role of the commitment-phobic career-oriented bachelor seems to fit him like a glove." [LA Times]
2. "[I]t seduces us with some of the most darkly hilarious moments to grace the screen in years. Clooney's crack comic timing makes the most of Ryan's acrid zingers as he savors a life without the vaguest threat of commitment." [Hollywood Reporter]
3. "[A] slickly engaging piece of lightweight existentialism highlighted by winning turns from George Clooney and Vera Farmiga...Impeccably groomed and with a ready answer to almost any remark anyone can throw at him, Clooney owns his role in the way first-rate film stars can, so infusing the character with his own persona that everything he does seems natural and right. The timing in the Clooney-Farmiga scenes is like splendid tennis, with each player surprising the other with shots but keeping the rally going to breathtaking duration." [Variety]
4. "[A] witty, charming and moving exploration of a world we all recognize. The movie reveals where we are now." [Thompson On Hollywood]
5. "The comedy is dark and sometimes blunt, and the characters are more realistic/authentic than quirky. Clooney's performance is subtle, yet layered." [/Film]
6. "The star of the production is Jason Reitman, who has crafted a screenplay both profound and entertaining, one with comedic rhythms that sing and emotional beats that resonate. That the effort is wrapped, on the surface, in a very timely tale that will hit the zeitgeist at just the right moment is testament to his patience with the project..." [In Contention]
7. "It's everything I wanted it to be, everything I was expecting, even after reading Walter Kirn's book that it's based on. Not only is it Reitman's most personal film to date, but it's his most polished as well." [FirstShowing.net]
[Clip via The Playlist]