Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on March 2010
It’s a rare movie that’s both funny and sad, cynical and moving, romantic and grounded in reality, and on top of all that, taps into the zeitgeist of our recession-hit times. None of this is easy to do, but director Jason Reitman (Juno) makes it look effortless. The plot has to do with a corporate downsizing expert (George Clooney at his most human) who spent 322 days in airports, airplanes and hotels last year, and likes the life (well, it has to be noted that the remaining 43 days were spent in home-office Omaha). His job is flying around the country telling people their jobs are “no longer available.” Vera Farmiga expertly plays an airport-hotel sexual conquest (conqueror?) and gets the best line: “Think of me as yourself, except with a vagina.” When a fresh young recruit (Anna Kendrick) sells his boss on doing all this firing by teleconferencing, George takes her on the road to give her a few life lessons on why terminating someone face-to-face is preferable. Eventually and perhaps inevitably (and precipitated by Vera’s character), cracks begin to show in this ultimate road warrior’s emotional armor. Supremely entertaining.