Meanwhile, Todd McCarthy has put up his review of Up in the Air. He also writes up The Informant!
Up in the Air:
The tale of an aloof, high-flying exec whose millions of frequent-flyer miles can’t keep him permanently above the emotional turbulence he seeks to avoid, ‚ÄúUp in the Air‚Äù is a slickly engaging piece of lightweight existentialism highlighted by winning turns from George Clooney and Vera Farmiga. Just as ‚ÄúThank You for Smoking‚Äù and ‚ÄúJuno‚Äù did in their own ways, Jason Reitman’s third film cleverly taps into specific cultural aspects of the contemporary zeitgeist, although in a somewhat less comically convulsive manner. Unlike many of the characters onscreen, nobody is going to lose any jobs on the basis of their work here, as a buoyant commercial flight lies ahead
The Informant! — It’s mostly a Matt Damon showcase:
Packed out with 30 extra pounds, a moustache, artfully done hairpiece and dorky glasses, Damon plays Mark Whitacre, a gung-ho VP at a Decatur, Ill.-based agribusiness firm, Archer Daniels Midland, where ‚Äúcorn goes in one end and profit comes out the other.‚Äù A career biochemist entirely behind the promotion of such food additives as lysine, Mark unleashes a staggering corporate and legal tsunami when he tells his boss he‚Äôs detected a mole in the ranks that‚Äôs allowing a Japanese competitor to mess with their lysine manufacturing.
Damon is in very sharp form in his fifth film with Soderbergh. The thesp makes Mark brazen in his conviction that he‚Äôs always right and unremorseful about his fabrications, but never in a superior, hubristic manner; as is slowly revealed, he‚Äôs always been able to rationalize any alteration of reality that served his purposes, and even when faced with his own deviousness, he never doubts that, ‚ÄúI‚Äôm the good guy in all this.‚Äù