Up In The Air


Movie Feature by Harriet Robbins

UP IN THE AIR, a current box-office hit, has received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture; Best Actor, George Clooney; Best Director, Jason Reitman; and Best Adapted Screenplay, Reitman and Sheldon Turner.

George Clooney plays the part of Ryan Bingham to perfection.

Bingham flies from city to city in his job as a hatchetman specializing in the downsizing of companies and the firing of workers from their jobs.

His work is a painfully relevant fact of life. Today's newspapers are filled with stories about corporate layoffs--and the despair of those who have been dropped from the payrolls. The film dramatizes the impact of these current events and drives home the question we all must ask ourselves: who will be next?

What came to mind while watching this superb comedy/drama and its talented cast is that much of the blame for this sorry state of affairs lies in our over-dependency on technology. We are so addicted to our computers, internet, cell phones, texts and twitters that there has been a steady loss of human contact in our lives. Meaningful relationships and enjoyment of simple human pleasures are becoming a thing of the past.

We are slowly becoming detached from each other. As a result, we seem to exist in a state of limbo today, depending on artificial gadgets for our needs.

UP IN THE AIR is an important film, if only because it shows us just how empty our society is. Ryan Bingham is a symbol of that emptiness: the airport is his home. He flits from place to place with no sense of commitment or caring to root him. He is always up in the air--but where is he headed? What is the meaning of his life? How will his life end?

The questions linger in mind long after this insightful and moving film comes to an end.