It was two years ago on Saturday night that Jason Reitman's "Juno" had its world premiere here at Toronto. The standing ovation that night was the most spontaneous and joyous I can remember. Still vibrating, Reitman stood on the stage of the Ryerson Theater and vowed, "I'm gonna open all of my films right here in this theater at Toronto." True to his word, his new film "Up in the Air" played the Ryerson at 6 p.m., Saturday--same time, same place.
It stars George Clooney in one of his best performances, as a frequent flyer. His ambition is to pass the 10 million-mile mark in the American Airlines Aadvantage Program, something very few ever do. Asked on an airplane where he lives, he replies, "Here." He's a Termination Facilitator. He fires people for a living. When corporations need to downsize quickly, he flies in and breaks the news to the new former employees. In a lousy economy, his business is great.
The film has a lot to say about unemployment, but it isn't about the economy or living on the road. It's about loneliness, a feeling the Clooney character thought he would never experience. To a fellow road warrior (Vera Farmiga), he insists he never wants to get married, never wants to have children, and doesn't own a home. He gives inspirational talks on how to empty the backpack of your life of all those people and possession you've been lugging around. . . .
Read more on Roger Ebert's blog: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/09/tiff_5.html