Freeview film of the day: Up in the Air

George Clooney is flying high but feeling low

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Up in the Air ★★★★ 
11.45pm-1.30am BBC1

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This is described as a comedy drama but it isn’t really. There are laughs certainly but the theme could be very painful to a lot of viewers. The protagonist, George Clooney, is employed to fly around America firing people. He’s very good at it and delivers comforting advice to the fired on how to cope. He has no commitments and home for him is a seat on an airliner. But he does have a girlfriend, Vera Farmiga, another frequent flyer whom he meets for casual sex. Clooney’s own job is threatened, however, when his company’s latest recruit, Anna Kendrick, suggests dismissal by videoconference. But she doesn’t know how to sack people and he is obliged to take her with him to teach her the not-so-gentle art. In the process they each learn discomforting things about themselves and what they are doing. It’s a clever, thought-provoking film, skilfully directed by Jason Reitman and very well played by the three leads.


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