Director: Jason Reitman. Cast: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Sam Elliot, Melanie Lynsky. 109 min. Rated R. Comedy.
Satire in movies seldom becomes so bitter. This is supposedly a comedy, but the absolute void of humanity and human relations pictured here leaves no room for a smile. Unemployment is no laughing matter, and Clooney, playing a businessman who is hired to fire people, does the tremendous job of keeping a detached pleasant face while breaking probably the worst news an employee will ever hear. Like in Juno, Reitman creates a fresh young female star in Anna Kendrick, and the screenplay has so many great one-liners, I had a hard time keeping up with the pace.
(PS: We're at the turn of another decade, and like the last decade and the case of the 2000 Oscar sweeper American Beauty, Up in the Air may ironically become another depressing story about American life that may win the Oscar for Best Picture.)