Thursday, September 1, 2011

Movie Time Away from Home

A few weeks ago, before Hurricane Irene ran through and destroyed so many parts of the great state of Vermont, Anthony and I were there during a stretch of rainy days.  We wound up spending a lot of time in our hotel room during the last couple of days of the trip, buying some choice alcohol from corner gas stations and watching HBO movies.  I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that we were pretty excited that so many of the movies we watched were on our Netflix queue; it was almost like we were accomplishing something and not only eating chips while watching cable television.  

But enough about Date Night and Dinner for Schmucks (the former was okay, the latter not so much).  The night before we started our vacation, we watched our Netflix DVD, which was Up in the Air.  I want to say up front that I've never enjoyed an opening sequence as much as the one at the start of this movie.  With vivid clips of sprawling prairies and gushing waters as seen from an airplane above, the movie starts off in a great way, with an overview of sorts of the country.  This is perfect for the main character, played by George Clooney, who isn't fully-engaged in anything but his job, traveling to his next assignment and racking up frequent flier miles.

There are many loops and sidebar-type details in Up in the Air, and there are some surprises near the end, the kind that I knew were coming about five minutes before they happened but I still softly gasped.  I thought that this movie would be simple: the story of a man who travels around the country as a consultant firing people, who freaks out when his job is threatened.  It is about that, but also about so much more.  The supporting characters are important, too.  Anna Kendrick is wonderful, but it was Vera Farmiga who won my heart (embarrassingly enough, I looked her up when the film was over and it turns out she grew up in an insular Ukrainian community in New Jersey, not speaking English until she was six years old--so interesting!).

Here are the opening credits from Up in the Air.  Do you like it as much as I do?

Image above found on

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