In economic times as shaky as these, it takes a certain amount of bravery to make your movie’s hero a businessman who fires people as a profession, but that’s what Jason Reitman does with Up in the Air
. That he makes his main character sympathetic is just one of the film’s startling achievements.
Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) makes his living personally handing out pink slips -- he’s the top hatchet man at a company that other companies hire when they are downsizing. And since business is booming, his job keeps him on the go constantly. He flies all across the country, staying in a series of nice hotels. And although this itinerant lifestyle prevents...