Up in the Air | EW.com

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George Clooney, Up in the Air

(Dale Robinette)

STARRING George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Jason Bateman
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Jason Reitman

At the core of this adaptation of Walter Kirn’s 2002 novel is a corporate downsizer who avoids emotional ties by traveling constantly and feeding his obsession with frequent-flier miles. The role appears tailor-made for George Clooney, who makes a rare foray into unironic romance when his character falls for a fellow compulsive traveler (Vera Farmiga). Shooting in economically ravaged cities like Detroit was an eye-opener for Jason Reitman (Juno), who started writing the script long before the current recession. ”I had originally written the firing scenes satirically,” says Reitman. ”When we started shooting, I realized that wasn’t funny anymore, and the film took on more dramatic tones.” Clooney, Reitman agrees, was a no-brainer to play a happily single jet-setter whose job is his No. 1 priority. ”He connected with the material for obvious reasons: He loves his work and feels deeply fortunate to do it,” says Reitman. Are there no cracks in the actor’s armor? ”I kept looking for something that wouldn’t live up to the hype. Here are two things that will make you hate George Clooney: He never wears makeup, and he never leaves the set. He’s Superman.”