In this week’s At the Movies, we officially vault into Oscar season with a film that is sure to lock up nominations in every major category, Up in the Air, and Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers is here to tell you why this is a must-see and pretty much the only film worth seeing this weekend. Directed by Juno and Thank You for Smoking‘s Jason Reitman, Up in the Air features the best performance of George Clooney’s career and star-making turns from Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick.
So what’s it about?
Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a man hired by companies to fire employees that bosses don’t have the stomach to pink slip. Bingham lives his life flying from one place to another, spending 322 days a year in airports and on airplanes, as a way to avoid any form of connection and commitment. “The laughs stick in your throat,” Travers says of the film, adding that it’s the best and boldest American comedy of the year and a Top Three film of 2009. Up in the Air also boasts hilarious turns by actors Zach Galifianakis, J.K. Simmons, Jason Bateman (who plays Clooney’s boss) and Eastbound and Down‘s Danny McBride.
Thankfully, there’s nothing Scum Bucket-worthy this weekend, but by that token there’s nothing else worth seeing in multiplexes either. In fact, Travers is just “bothered” this week. He’s bothered that David Letterman told actress Natalie Portman that the war drama Brothers was the best film of the past 20 years when it’s not even the best film released this week. Travers is bothered that Everybody’s Fine features another ho-hum performance by Robert DeNiro. He’s bothered that people are still giving all their money to New Moon and he’s bothered that Sandra Bullock’s going rogue in The Blind Side is garnering Academy Award talk. To see what else is bothering Travers, check out At the Movies above.