Instead of writing a standard review of Up In the Air, I thought I would tell you about a little creative “theory” I have.
On the surface, Up in the Air is a film about “connection” and the “baggage” that comes with having friends, family, lovers, partners etc. The film has us evaluate a man named Ryan Bingham who does not want any of this. Instead he sells to us a life philosophy where he carries around an empty backpack. He makes common acquaintances but generally he is alone and introverted, but he exudes an aura of general happiness from this lifestyle.
Yet as I watched Jason Reitman’s best film of his young budding career, I had a much different reaction that most filmgoers. I found myself being drawn into a conversation about having a sense of obligation, a willingness to sacrifice oneself for it, and being held accountable for the actions surrounding it.