Sunday, 17 January 2010

Up in the Air- Aspects of America

Whenever one says anything, and I mean anything at all about America these days, it is customary to start out with the disclaimer "I'm not anti-American, but..." Well, I'm not really anti- anything.

But,yes I do have some problems with America, or rather with the cultural influence America wields over Europe. Deal with it.

But yesterday I saw this film "Up In the Air" with George Clooney - and yes, he is quite easy on hte eye - but that's a different story.

The film is about a guy who works for a sub-contractor whose business it is to fre people. These scenes are brutal, there is no other word. Real life people's first reactions to the message "Your position is no longer available" is recorded. It is painful, it is raw, and it is honest - and I say all credit to you, America! For scenes like these have not been happening in US movies - maybe forever. And it gets worse, for the Clooney character really gets it in the neck. AND you see scenes from small-town America you've not seen before. Madison Avenue this ain't. Or Disneyland. Or L.A. This is nothing like you've ever seen about America before. Not glossy, not chic, not aspirational. These are provincial, dumbed-down, dirt-poor, awful towns. These are existential images that Wim Wenders in Paris, Texas aspired to, but never managed.

And you know what? All credit to you, America! That something so raw, so cynical, but ultimately so true and so touching can come out of this country which I - as your consummate European - had written off long ago, That IS something.

Chapeau bas, America!! Here's to you!

Go see the movie, as they say over there.


  1. Oh looking forward to seeing this. I sometimes think George Clooney is under rated because of his looks, but he makes seems to be choosing his roles wisely .. thanks for the tip x

  2. I really recommend it, Ruth! You could take your new Alexa...:)

  3. Can't really comment about America's bad cultural influence, I used to be cynical about it and would tend to agree with you but I see that it is more complicated (as it is always). When I went into New York city last summer, I didn't see Americans but people from all over the world- Pakistani, Indian, African, Chinese all living together. Is the tv/shopping/disney land culture only an American influence? Partly but I don't think it is only to blame.It is too bad Hollywood has monopolized how America is viewed and it is even worse that so many people revere this institution more than anything else.
    I would go to this movie if only because of George Clooney :-)

  4. The sentiments in your last sentence, Sarah,are of course always at the back of one's mind :))

  5. I'm such a Clooney fan I'd probably see this in any case (I know that's so lame), but your recommendation makes me want to actually go to the cinema rather than wait for the DVD.

    Great picture too.

    Helena xx

  6. Great movie indeed. Reitman always has a knack for pointing out the darker side of things. And people. And countries :)

    I was just slightly disappointed by the abrupt ending. But I guess it's part of the story...