Monday, January 11, 2010

Up In the Air

How do you define your worth?
UP IN THE AIR is a movie that my wife wishes could be shown at our church (the R-rated content will prevent that).  It’s the kind of film that asks all the right questions, gives no pat answers, and can lead to the important searching that we all should do every now and again.
The movie intelligently (and entertainingly) asks us about definition:  how we define our worth, our community, our family, our existence?
The Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner screenplay, based on the Walter Kirn novel, forces the question front and center:  the protagonist, Ryan, fires people for a living.  We are shown person after person responding to the devastating news – they no longer have a job.
And if your job defines who you are?  As one fire-ee asks, who am I when I wake up without a job tomorrow?
The film doesn’t stop with occupation, but has an intersection of characters probing other ways we define ourselves – through family, significant other, community, home, possessions, and on.
And what if after we’ve defined ourselves, we don’t like that definition?  How do we live with the consequences of our definition?
Ryan is the perfect tour guide through such questions, as a man who defines himself by absence – removing all the ties that bind.  He sets himself up as a role model; this being drama, expect his notions to be challenged.
I should also mention – this is not a movie of easy Hollywood wrap-ups; it is a movie that may point in a direction, but ultimately leaves the answers in your hands.
It asks its questions of you:
How do you define yourself?

Just my thoughts,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with Cath. Loved this movie. Made me laugh, made me cry, made me want to buy the soundtrack.