Sunday, January 10, 2010

Up in the Air's morality

Spoiler alert: I'm not the only one underwhelmed by current dreamboat George Clooney and Jason Reitman' Up in the Air. This is the kind of film that has gotten so much undeserved acclaim that it makes someone critical like me almost want to go out of his way to find contrarian views. I didn't have to look far. This came in my newspaper last week in a column by National Post's Barbara Kay. She raises a very good point. After seeing the movie and leaving the theatre I also questioned the morality of the Alex (Vera Farmiga) character though it didn't dawn on me later to write about it. Reviewers have focussed almost entirely on Clooney's sky-high nowhere man disconnectedness from other people and emotions generally. None seem to have focussed on Farmiga's character. But in the film Alex gives every impression she's the gender-opposite of Clooney: unanchored, living in an unreal world of corporate travel, and airport if not bed-hopping. But it's at the very moment Clooney starts to get in touch with his emotions and falls for Alex that he discovers Alex's other life - comfortably married with children thank you very much. This she never told him, obviously leading him on. Kay rightly describes her as the tramp. Yet critics have given the character a pass. To read Kay's column (for some reason Google Blog won't let me paste the link) search for 'Barbara Kay National Post' and the article 'Mile-high Morality'...

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