Down to Earth and “Up in the Air”

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Dec 28, 2009    •    568 Views

Yesterday I saw “Up in the Air”, the new George Clooney movie that has been called a comedy. As Ryan Bingham, Clooney was a “transition specialist”. Firms hired his employer to “fire” people. Excellent in many ways, the movie was about technology, romance, detachment, and relationships. Also, it was about this recession.
Joe Morgenstern said it best in his Wall Street Journal review:
“When I saw ‘Up in the Air’ at its first public screening at the Telluride Film Festival last summer, I was startled by the eloquence of those vignettes, and admired the director for portraying working-class Americans without a trace of glib pity or condescension. I had no inkling of what is now public knowledge, that the interviewees were real people who had lost real jobs; they’d been invited by Jason Reitman and his colleagues to talk about their experiences on camera.”
Through “Up in the Air”, the unemployment statistics become very real. For November, there were 15 million unemployed and 165,346 individuals fired through 1797 “mass layoff actions”.

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