Here's the opening of my review in Taki's Magazine of Up in the Air:
Until the Underpants Bomber tried to blow up Flight 253 over Detroit, the frontrunner for the Best Picture Oscar was widely assumed to be Up in the Air. Indeed, before the Christmas Day incident reminded everybody of how much they hate business travel, the dramedy—in which George Clooney plays a travel-addicted corporate consultant who gleefully flies first-class around the country to fire people—let Hollywood feel, for once, relevant: The Motion Picture Industry Responds to the Unemployment Crisis!
Why would Academy Awards exist if not for self-congratulation?
Up in the Air has been widely celebrated for being the first movie to refer, tangentially, to the economic downturn in the mere 29 months since subprimes crashed in August 2007. The film doesn’t actually have much of interest to say about losing your job (other than it helps to have family), but at least the movie mentions it.Modern Hollywood requires so many lunch meetings before a deal can be put together that it can only attain economic topicality by procrastinating through an entire business cycle. This adaptation of Walter Kirn’s 2001 novel (which is set in the booming 1990s) wound up being worked over, on and off, by writer-director Jason Reitman (2006’s Thank You for Smoking) throughout the last decade.