I finally had a chance to catch Up in The Air this week and thought I would share some of my knee jerk reactions...this post will contain some minor spoilers, read at your own risk.
1. The best scene single scene in the movie is when the three leads (George Clooney, Anna Kendrick, and Vera Farmiga) share a scene together at the hotel bar. Clooney's character, Ryan Bingham, is in the scene only functionally, but these two supporting women get a chance to share their incredible skills together on screen. As their characters discuss what they're looking for in men, the sharp dialogue and exceptional delivery makes this scene one of my favorite scenes of the season.
2. Longer than a scene, but an incredible slice of film is the entire wedding portion of the film. Amy Morton's role as Clooney's sister is great, and the transition to hand held camera creates an intimacy in the film that is executed with great technique, effective without causing distraction.
3. The use of music in this film is truly enjoyable. The soundtrack is filled with a number of "perfect songs." Director Jason Reitman is proving that part of his success comes from his soundtrack. The Up In The Air soundtrack doesn't even include all the songs in the film. One of the best songs in the film appears on The soundtrack is "Help Yourself" by Sad Bad Smith, which occurs during the wedding scene. Other songs on the album include pieces by Elliot Smith, Dan Auerbach and Charles Atlas. (note: Anna Kendrick's rendition of 'Time After Time' by Cyndi Lauper is not on the album.)
4. I believe part of the magic of this film is the way it sociologically captures so many important modern changes and emotions. Whether it's about following boyfriends to new towns, changes in technology and corporate structure, corporate impersonality, conflict between work life and personal life, family differences, corporate business programs, and emotions of being surrounded and alone.