The Oscar nominees were announced today. In case you missed it, the list is here.
As I do ever year, I do my best to see as many of the movies that are nominated as possible because I find that it makes watching the telecast all the more interesting. With that in mind, I got a jump on things last night and saw Up In The Air.
The movie is the story of a frequent flyer (George Clooney) who fires people for a living. He prefers the comforts of spending his life on the road but runs into issues when his firm begins to consider cutting back his time in the air. I won't say much more because I have to admit that what I enjoyed about this movie was not knowing where it was going to go.
First things first: I loved the way this movie was written. I loved the story, the characters and how it displays the craziness of business travel. I think that when you're young you think business travel is going to be fun and glamorous. Then, sometime during your second business trip, you realize that not only is it unglamorous but there is really nothing fun about it. This movie really works hard to show that.
I also liked that the movie was a very poignant snapshot of our current economic times... George Clooney is essentially a harbinger of doom during one of the worst economic times in history. There are lots of scenes with montages of people who are being let go and I believe those are real people, not actors.
There are lots of side stories that I also enjoyed in the story and one of them is that George Clooney's company brings in a young Cornell MBA grad and she attempts to revamp operations. Having been through the process of getting an MBA, I can identify with her character and some of the problems she runs into. Although I never graduated at the top of my class and I never went to Cornell. But my brother did!
Anyways, after about 45 minutes I knew George Clooney was going to get a nomination. His performance is both powerful and touching and it must have been a joy to play that character.
I guess it goes without saying but I highly recommend you spend the time to watch both this and The Hurt Locker ASAP. I am starting to hear lots of talk about The Hurt Locker for best picture...