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Up in the Air Movie Review: Inbetween Days
Written by Spling   
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 13:58

Up in the Air Movie Poster

Have you ever been fired or had to fire someone? It's never nice. In fact, it's the reason bosses let people go on a Friday. We think we're defined by our jobs. It's the first thing anyone ever asks upon introduction, "So what do you do for a living?". I guess that's why it's so painful... taking the very thing that defines or establishes us in society and whipping it right out from under us. There's no way to avoid 'retrenchment' and 'being fired' from being anything but personal, and this weightless scenario is where Ryan Bingham finds himself, Up in the Air.

For Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), firing has become something of an art. Companies that want to keep their hands clean and protect themselves from wrongful dismissals and work place incidents contract agencies like Ryan's to let the heads roll and clean up afterward. Bingham is like a traveling salesman, flying from company to company, state to state... letting "firees" down easy and offering hope for their futures. He's an insincere guidanceĀ counselor, a buffer for the companies to get a move on with their corporate downsizing and an axe to deadwood.

There's a false sense of intimacy in Ryan's interactions. He gets to be in each candidate's head space for a couple of minutes... without feeling any intrinsic responsibility for his actions. Poverty, suicide, loss of self-esteem... these concerns are best forgotten. His smooth talking and off-the-cuff charm give him the license to operate within this realm with repetitive one-liners, but that's not to say there aren't any serious repercussions.

For one, he himself is on the way out... thanks to a new video conference system designed to make virtual firing a possibility. Bingham's own insecurity and feelings of emptiness and loneliness begin to emerge...continued.

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