Clooney got an Oscar nom for Up in the Air? You've got to be kidding.

My wife and I watched this movie last night and can not wrap our heads around how George Clooney got an Oscar nomination for this performance. Was it bad? No. Was it good? It was okay, but Oscar worthy? He basically played the same character he’s played for years, with the same delivery, same look, same everything. The movie itself was nothing special either. The story was dull and didn’t really have much of a point. At least the female lead (the older one) was hot though.

George Clooney IS a good, sometimes great, actor. I’m not denying that. But this movie is standard fare for him and doesn’t stick out as anything special.

What did you think of this flick? Do you think GC should have gotten the accolades he did for this movie? Or was it just the Academy pandering to a golden child?

I didn’t like the movie. I found it dull and forgettable. The only part I liked was the real people discussing their feelings about being laid off/fired.

Having said that, even if I did like the movie, I don’t think it is him that deserves the nomination. His characters was barely developed beyond being obsessive about his miles. It was not a very demanding acting job.

So, no, I don’t think he deserved it.

Brad Pitt, on the other hand, probably did.

I thought this was a great film and I remember after seeing it thinking that it was one of the better movies I’d seen in the past couple of years. I’ve been laid off fairly recently though so maybe it hit just the right notes w/ me.

I thought all of the performances were great. Clooney was mostly just himself, but there was more depth to it than that. It was a great character study of a guy afraid of putting down roots. Vera Farmiga (his love interest) and Anna Kendrick were also both fantastic and deserving of their Oscar nominations.

Whoa, what? Really? You think that there was barely any character development from the guy who was so proud of his lack of connections to other people that he actually became a motivational speaker to encourage others to get rid of the dead weight in their backpack to the guy who was willing to go to his occasional lover’s house and risk total rejection to lay it on the line? The movie was good because it showed the transformation of a very distant man who learns that things like family and friends are important only to realize that his years of distance have cursed him to a lifetime of loneliness. I thought the movie worked very hard to build a believable character arc for him, and it succeeded.

That, though, I can’t disagree with. I like Up In the Air, and Clooney’s performance, but I think Pitt in Inglorious Basterds was about 100x better.

It depends on how you look at it. One reviewer’s dispeptic take:

*… the academy tends to vote for actors who completely transform themselves in a role, who give what I call “chameleonic” performances. They almost never choose a performance in which an actor plays some ultimate version of himself - what I call an “apotheosis” performance.

Looking at this field, which is fairly strong, I’d vote for Clooney. But about 80 years of academy tradition tells us that Clooney is not going to win. In “Up in the Air,” he plays a fellow who, in look and temperament, is not unlike himself…

In fact, Clooney will never win a best actor Oscar until he puts on an eye patch or a false nose, or plays a vagrant, or someone with leprosy, or someone repellent to women or someone shouting, “Hoo-haa.” Or to put it another way, until he’s really, really lousy in a movie, he’s never going to win best actor. *

From here.

I didn’t think the movie was all that great but I thought Clooney’s performance saved it. Maybe he did play the same character he always plays and I didn’t notice it because I always love him. The two women leads were so unappealing to me as to make me angry.

The reviewer is probably right. It’s the same reason why Cary Grant never won a competitive Oscar. When the Academy looked at his films, they saw Cary Grant being Cary Grant, and as a result, looked over some quite wonderful performances (like in The Talk of the Town). I think Clooney is on a similar trajectory. Right now, people watch his performances and see Clooney being Clooney, but I think in a few decades with the benefit of hindsight it’ll be easier to see that he’s quite a good actor with plenty of nuance between performances.

The thing is, I’d much rather watch George Clooney play George Clooney than, say, Sean Penn play George Clooney. Sure, with Sean it’ll be more of an “achievement”… but George’ll do it better.

Umm i thought he was great… The scene when he’s on the subway after he realizes he’s been played by the married woman… talking to my guy from eastbound and down (future brother in law)…
I really didn’t get A Serious man… but i thought up and the air was awesome…

I liked the movie. Clooney’s performance was good, not great. Probably not nomination worthy; however, his nomination for “Michael Clayton” was deserved. In the end the right man won(Daniel Day-Lewis), but George was awesome in that movie.

I thought the movie was good, not great.

I liked the performance by Anna Kendrick, I know people JUST LIKE THAT! She really nailed it - however, because she is a new face to me I don’t know how much was just her being her. I’ll have to see her in few more things to sort that out. Although she does have some stage acting awards so I give her the benefit of the doubt.

Vera F. was serviceable, any of a couple dozen actresses could have given the same performance, nothing memorable to me.

As for George, I agree that the Oscar nom was a bit of a reach. He was good. He used to be a rather poor actor and I really think he has improved greatly over the years. I thought he deserved the nomination for Micheal Clayton. But this? I can’t immediately think of who I would replace him with in the top 5, so I guess it’s OK to give him the nomination, just not the win.

I think the whole movie and all of the actors benefited from a “halo effect”, somebody decided early on that this was a Oscar worthy movie with Oscar worthy performances and everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Since Hollywood loves George he’ll get that kind of attention whereas other deserving people and movies will be overlooked altogether.

I agree with this. Ryan Bingham isa slightly more complex, more believable version of the George Clooney type. That’s comparing it to, say, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? or the Ocean’s 11 movies. It’s a really good use of that type of character because he’s usually portrayed in a positive light, and his treatment in Up in the Air is more mixed. The other important point is that the movie struck a chord with a lot of people, so there’s that. Clooney may not be pushing himself to the artistic limit, necessarily, but then again we’ve seen Jeff Bridges play losers before, too. He was still good.

I agree. He gives off the impression that he’s pretty similar to his character type in real life. And maybe he is. But it’s still acting.

It wasn’t her being her. Unless what you’re saying is that, for instance, her actual fiancי broke up with her via text message at the *exact same moment *the scene of her character’s breakup was filmed. Because if that somewhat unlikely event didn’t happen, then that terrific emotional reaction you saw was completely made up. Acting isn’t faking a character, it’s faking the emotions that character is feeling.

I wasn’t suggesting that at all! Forgive me for my reaction to your comments - but I know what the hell acting is, I’ve been a member of SAG for nearly 30 years.

I’m talking about her specific vocal production and physicality, not the events of the script. Either she made some very specific adjustments for the character, or that’s how she walks and talks in real life and was cast for those traits. Until I see her in other roles I’m not sure.

I thought the movie and Clooney were great, the arc his character when through was interesting and engrossing, and his reaction when he finally realizes that he has successfully insulated himself from everyone else in the world - and now regrets it - was excellently acted. The whole bit from the time he appears on Vera’s doorstep though the last shot of the film was terrific acting, very emotive yet understated. I don’t begrudge him or the film their nominations at all, although I was glad that Bridges won.

Kendrick reminded me of a bunch of young professionals that I know, too. She was very good. I thought Up in the Air might’ve been a real classic if they hadn’t shifted the story toward Bingham’s family near the end- that felt cliche compared to what came before. But it’s still a very good movie that came out at the right time.

I really liked the movie, especially Anna Kendrick’s character.

Remember that when Clooney won his Supporting Actor Oscar, he scruffed himself up and packed on the pounds, so that falls into the “physical transformation” meme that is seen as Acting-with-a-capital-A.