Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Up in the Air

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Up in the Air

Article excerpt

UP IN THE AIR

Directed by Jason Reitman (Paramount Pictures, 2009)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The most unbelievable thing about Jason Reitman's slick black comedy is that there is anybody left in America who still likes to fly. But Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), who makes his living firing other people on behalf of bosses without the stomach for the work, spends more than 300 days a year in the air and still gets a kick racking up extra miles and savoring all the perks of his elite flyer status. Bingham is the sort of guy who can drop into Boise, terminate 40 mid-level employees, and brag to a woman in the Marriott bar about the upgrade he got with his new room.

Of course Bingham has no real family, home, or friends--and no visible regrets about the emptiness of his life--or guilt about making a living by terminating the careers of other, often noticeably more decent human beings. Like the sharks he praises in his self-help talks, he is a guy sustained by motion, permanently focused on the tasks and satisfactions of moving through each day and jetting around the country. …

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