Up in the Air 2009 ★★★

First things first, this is a smart-looking film with George Clooney being all urbane and charming and George Clooneyish. So it's not all bad and has a lot of drily funny moments. The visuals and tone are as smart and sharp as Clooney's suits but in other ways this film is far too messy.

The interviews with real unemployed people struck a slightly jarring note with the rest of the film; the relationship between Clooney and Vera Farmiga's characters is tied up in far too trite, obvious and unsatisfying a way and nor was I fully convinced by the odd couple relationship between Clooney and Anna Kendrick, whose performance I found a bit forced; Sam Elliot's cameo as a pilot felt too much like the Big Lebowski for me to suppress a giggle.

In the end I struggled to understand what the point had been and why we'd all been on this ride. For a film about the superficiality of a man's life it ended up feeling pretty superficial itself. Ooh, ironic.

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