Up in the Air

by Bryan

Some quick thoughts on Up in the Air before I get back to “work” work. Saw it yesterday in PHX before coming back, and generally liked the less air travel-porn aspects of it. Biggest criticism is that it should have ended 10 minutes earlier, right after (spoiler alert!) Vera Farmiga says “He’s lost” and they cut to Clooney holding a whiskey in some cookie-cutter hotel room. The tacked-on 10 to 15 minutes—Clooney’s girl’s epiphany, his 10 million mile accomplishment, the realization that the woman in Omaha did what she said she would do, Clooney’s final trip to the airport—only serve to undermine the fundamentally depressing nature of the movie. Aram‘s mentioned this decade as the one where movies got too long, and the whole set of scenes after the one I mention above seem like a studio ending to a movie that really didn’t deserve one. It’s the type of ending that might (will?) win it awards but weaken it as a film.

Put another way, I didn’t learn anything from that point on. Any resolutions would have been better debated after the movie ended. There’s no reason I need to think that Ryan Bingham, or anyone around him, gets or facilitates a happy ending.