Test screening adoration for Reitman’s ‘Up in the Air’

Posted by · 10:20 am · August 4th, 2009

George ClooneyYesterday’s Oscar update featured a number of prediction hikes for Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air,” including firm placement among the predicted Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress nominees.  As I wrote in the column, the film has been getting great notices out of test screenings and the studio seems to be pretty invested in an awards run.

Today (and I never do this, but it’s positive, so I’ll go for it) Jeff Wells has received a test screening review of the film and posted it up at Hollywood Elsewhere.  It’s a giant gusher.  The guy calls George Clooney’s leading performance “Cary Grant crossed with Warren Beatty” and the role one the actor “was born to play.”  Even though it was a test screening, the reviewer calls it a “near perfect film” and describes a trippy dream sequence that sounds creatively intriguing and narratively fascinating.

In a nutshell, the guy is head over heels for the flick.  Take it or leave it, but it sounds mostly legitimate to me.

Here’s the lead-in:

Let me begin by saying that this summer has been a bust. The only highlights being smaller films like Moon and The Hurt Locker. The major tentpoles have all had problems. Even one of the better ones like Star Trek has some glaring plot problems. So when something like Up In The Air comes around it restores my faith in film.

“This is only Reitman’s third film and he’s showing such a level of confidence here that it’s almost scary. Where does he go from here? UITA is going to be on everyone’s Ten-Best list, and Clooney will be nominated for Best Actor. Clooney has never been so good. In fact, I feel he was born to play this character, a charmingly aloof business-track smoothie called Ryan Bingham.

Read the rest at Hollywood Elsewhere.  And in case you missed it, be sure to check out Guy’s Page to Screen review of Walter Kirn’s source material here.

→ 11 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

11 responses so far

  • 1 8-04-2009 at 10:33 am

    AmericanRequiem said...

    Still just one opinion, I cant seem to get excited about this, whats it really about?

  • 2 8-04-2009 at 10:41 am

    The Rake said...

    This is pretty exciting on the surface, since I am a big Clooney fan. Hard not to be. Really hyped for Viggo in The Road too. But every time I come to this site, I cringe when seeing the 10 films in the Best Pic category. I hate it – passionately.
    The Rake

  • 3 8-04-2009 at 10:46 am

    Mr. Gittes said...

    Good to hear. But there’s a small chance that Up in the Air may not even be the best movie Clooney’s in this year.

  • 4 8-04-2009 at 11:47 am

    Speaking English said...

    ***The only highlights being smaller films like Moon and The Hurt Locker.***

    Right, we can completely ignore “Up,” “(500) Days of Summer,” “Public Enemies” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

    I don’t know about others, but it’s only August and it’s already a great, great year.

  • 5 8-04-2009 at 12:18 pm

    Michael said...

    I agree with you, I am rather more content with the films that have come out in theaters this year as I was by this same time last year. I think it has been an overall really good year for film and as usual the best is yet to come.

    I am also really excited about seeing this movie, I liked Juno (didn’t love it) but I really really liked Thank you for Smoking, so I am curious what Reitman does next. And when George Clooney actually tries he can be very surprisingly good so I am game.

  • 6 8-04-2009 at 12:26 pm

    John H. Foote said...

    Coming to TIFF — cannot wait — huge Clooney fan since his brilliant, Clark Gable-esque work in ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?” — love that he is also an artist, “Good Night and Good Luck”…always though of the Batman Bruce Wayne’s in the earlier films he was th best of the lot — wonderful actor, just a wonderful talent. I like that he’s a move star AND an actor, and there is a huge difference between the pair. And, hey, good for Jason Reitman, his “Juno” was a knockout…keep it going…

  • 7 8-04-2009 at 2:06 pm

    Mike_M said...

    Same review was posted to iesb.net and tweeted by Paramount’s Twitter account, some are saying it is a plant, but I hope not I am really looking forward to his film.

  • 8 8-04-2009 at 2:11 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yeah, got into a big argument with Drew about that. I don’t think it’s a plant since I know who wrote the thing (not personally, mind you). But some are overly paranoid when it comes to this stuff. Regardless, this isn’t the only source offering these sentiments, as witnessed by my piece yesterday. (And I never received the heavily circulated review, by the way.)

  • 9 8-04-2009 at 3:23 pm

    Mike_M said...

    I agree and have heard similar good things from test screenings. It was just a little odd that Par tweeted it, but I am glad there is proof that is not a plant since I want this to be great.

    Didn’t read much twitter today so I must have missed the discussion…

  • 10 8-04-2009 at 6:12 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    They tweeted it because it was good buzz for a Paramount film. No mystery.

  • 11 8-22-2009 at 11:46 pm

    Carol said...

    How can you put Nine in amongst these nominations? Oh let me guess another rigged Oscar win the most bias and unbalanced Awards.