If UP IN THE AIR doesn't win one or more above-the-line Oscars -- particularly Best Adapted Screenplay -- somebody in the Academy is seriously out of touch.
UP IN THE AIR, like all good stories, is a tale about conflicts. Conflicts between the old and the new ways of doing business. Between electronic communication and personal interaction. Between isolation and family. Between the burden of being burdenless and the freedom gained by making a commitment. Between the goals we set for ourselves, what we really need, and what happens when the two collide. Between salemanship and sincerity, and the odd middle ground where we know we are being sold to but we go with it.
All that wrapped up in a very funny comedy that features lots of great scenery and George Clooney's dashing smile. (The guy really is the Cary Grant of our generation.) It's funny, but not at the expense of genuine emotional resonance.
I enjoyed AVATAR and SHERLOCK HOLMES quite a bit, but it's refreshing to see a movie made by and for grownups -- or rather, a good movie for grownups.