First, a note to Onvoy employees. You will get an inadvertent laugh - a giggle, really - over the name of one of the characters. It happens early on and is repeated a few times. Don't worry about it, just have your little chuckle, try not to annoy anyone sitting nearby and get your head back in the movie. Consider it a little extra bang for your ticket buck.
Up in the Air is a wonderful, intimate actor's movie. George Clooney is wonderful as a consultant who travels around the country firing people. He takes his work very seriously and his always-on-the-move lifestyle even more so. Vera Farmiga is a kindred spirit he meets on the road (you'll recognize her when you see her -she's been in several things you've seen in the last decade), while Anna Kendrick plays a recent college grad who shadows Clooney's character to learn the ropes.
I wanted the first half of the movie to continue forever. Getting to know the characters, hearing the Gilmore Girls-caliber dialogue (although delivered much more leisurely), seeing the different sights around the country was all wonderful. But movies are about change and a couple of big changes are thrown at the characters. Even so, the personal turmoil that results was fascinating to observe.
The ending of Up in the Air is about as perfect as you can get. Director Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking, Juno) is proving his mettle as a guy who sets his characters in motion and just lets them live. If this is what he can do on his third movie, I can't wait to see his 20th.
Unless you're a 14-year-old girl, you won't recognize Anna Kendrick. She was in the two Twilight movies and not much else. Think of her as a brunette Kristen Bell, which is a high compliment from me. Bell's Veronica Mars was a great anti-hero and could have been a cartoon in lesser hands. Kendrick both looks and acts like Bell. Let's hope she picks more movies like Up in the Air and fewer like Twilight in the future.