Up in the air

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German title Up in the air
Original title Up in the air
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2009
length 110 minutes
Age rating FSK 0
Director Jason Reitman
script Jason Reitman,
Sheldon Turner
Novel Based on: Walter Kirn
production Jeffrey Clifford ,
Daniel Dubiecki ,
Ivan Reitman ,
Jason Reitman
music Rolfe Kent
camera Eric Steelberg
cut Dana E. Glauberman

Up in the Air is an American tragic comedy directed by Jason Reitman in 2009 , who also wrote the script and co-produced the film. The plot is based on the novel Up in the Air (German book title: Mr. Bingham collects miles ) by Walter Kirn . The main roles were played by George Clooney , Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick .


Ryan Bingham is almost always on the road. His employer sends him to companies that do not have the courage to fire their employees themselves. He loves the freedom and anonymity of travel. Ryan's big goal is to overcome the ten million frequent flyer mile barrier. He hardly maintains close personal relationships, either in the company or with family members. Only with his chance acquaintance Alex, whom he met during a business trip, does he have a non-binding and loose relationship, which he also benefits from. One day, his boss, Craig Gregory, puts the young Cornell graduate Natalie Keener at his side, who proposes to cut costs by no longer conducting dismissal talks on site, but via video conference . Ryan's life threatens to fall apart. He also openly doubts that this method does the job justice. To familiarize Natalie with the practice, her boss sends her along on Ryan's next trip so that she can get a personal impression of his work. He befriends Natalie somewhat, and in the course of their conversations during the trip he gradually realizes that a life full of loneliness is sadder than a life with family, friends and love. He also becomes aware of this on the occasion of his sister's wedding, to which he is accompanied by Alex. He renewed his family relationships during this weekend by getting his future brother-in-law not to cancel the wedding, which he was planning to do in a panic reaction on the wedding day. After this weekend, Alex and Ryan separate again without obligation and Ryan flies to a guest lecture, which he then does not finish. He suddenly leaves the lectern, spontaneously flies to Alex and visits her unannounced, since he has realized that he would like to have more than one non-binding relationship with her. There he is shocked to discover that Alex is married and has a family of his own. In a subsequent phone call, Alex tells him that she only sees him as an affair and as a small escape from her everyday life, but that she would like to see him again. During Alex's return flight, he reached the long-awaited ten-million-mile mark, which however meant nothing to him. When he gets back to his office, he plans to transfer 1 million miles of his account to his sister so she can go on a honeymoon. The phone call with the airline is interrupted by his boss. He informs him that one of the employees who had been terminated by Natalie threw himself off a bridge and Natalie then quit. At the same time, he is informed that the new program for this occasion has been stopped for the time being and that he should continue to travel. Shortly thereafter, thanks to a letter of recommendation from Ryan, Natalie can start a new job in San Francisco.


  • Numerous companies and brand names are prominently mentioned and presented in the film ( product placement ). According to Jason Reitman, at least he didn't get any money from the hotel chain in the film and American Airlines . He made no statements about other companies such as the equally prominent car rental company and the car manufacturer. However, the audio commentary on the DVD mentions that a Boeing 757 was flown in by American Airlines , which was made available for the filming, as well as all the business class seats for a dummy airplane, so that there were no additional costs for production. This was a pecuniary benefit . An indication of the close connection to the companies featured in the film is the fact that the director personally received the exclusive membership card of the airline, which Alex admired in the film, as well as that the purchase DVD was accompanied by an advertising brochure was attached to the hotel chain featured in the film.
  • The author of the book, Walter Kirn, has a brief guest appearance in the film: He sits next to Ryan during Natalie's first presentation.
  • Production costs were estimated at around $ 25 million. The film grossed around 167 million US dollars in cinemas around the world, including around 84 million US dollars in the USA and around 7.6 million US dollars in Germany.
  • A limited release to a few cinemas in the USA began on December 4, 2009, the nationwide release followed on December 23, 2009. In Germany, the film opened in theaters on February 4, 2010.
  • Some of the actors who are fired by Ryan Bingham in the film were not actors, but people from St. Louis and Detroit who had just lost their jobs and were reenacting the situation. (Audio commentary by J. Reitman)


source rating
Rotten tomatoes

“Reitman unwinds his story with an unbelievable speed and an excellent feeling for the right timing. In lightning-fast montages, people are fired, breathless changes of location are made via aerial photos and inserts, only to then slow down the action with lively dialogue duels. It looks like routine box of tricks and it is, but when the director celebrates his wedding, immerses himself in the action with the camera (Eric Steelberg) and casually captures the mood, then you can see that Reitman is already a big player in the film business. His death in a plane crash would immediately move him to Hollywood's Olympus and guarantee posthumous Oscars. At least that's how Reitman put it in the interview. Who wants to contradict? "

- Kino.de

“The sober story about a busy frequent flyer whose job it is to fire people is increasingly developing into an emotional story about a man who actually has everything and who is still missing something crucial in life: love, friendship and a family. Together, this results in an exciting reflection on life today. Our increasingly global world, in which communication often only takes place via new technical achievements, is causing a change in society. 'Up in the Air' takes a critical and also authentic look at these changes and leaves behind messages that presumably make each of us more sensitive to certain problems. "

- Moviesection.de

“It's hard not to like Jason Reitman films somehow. They are so fluffy, tasty and have a meringue lightness that makes it difficult to hold something against them. In addition, they regularly give the impression that they somehow revolve around an important topic. [...] That the film takes very serious topics and degrades them to staffage and even uses real people for it, perhaps only becomes apparent in the end, if you look a little thinks about the somewhat discouraged simplicity of the story. It is part of Reitman's success (which is also evident in the Oscar nominations) that he manages to turn these films around trendy topics that are somehow perceived as "edgy" and yet at their core are so smooth, consensual and well-behaved, that nobody really likes them. "

Cast and dubbing

role actor German speaker
Ryan Bingham George Clooney Detlef Bierstedt
Natalie Keener Anna Kendrick Anne Helm
Alex Goran Vera Farmiga Claudia Urbschat-Mingues
Craig Gregory Jason Bateman Tobias Kluckert
Jim Miller Danny McBride Daniel Fehlow
bob JK Simmons Jan Spitzer
Dianne Erin McGrane Gundi Eberhard
Julie Bingham Melanie Lynskey Britta Steffenhagen
Kara Bingham Amy Morton Eva Kryll
Karen Barnes Tamala Jones Sabine Falkenberg
Kevin Chris Lowell Sebastian Schulz
Maynard Finch Sam Elliott Jürgen Kluckert
Ned Dustin Miles Peter Lontzek
Purser Cari Mohr Diana Borgwardt
Rental Car Assistant Paul Goetz Benjamin Stöwe
Samuels Steve Eastin Karl Schulz
Steve Zach Galifianakis Olaf Reichmann
Tammy Adrienne Lamping Angela Ringer



Academy Awards 2010

Golden Globe Awards 2010

Screen Actors Guild Awards 2010

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards 2010

BAFTA Award 2010

National Board of Review Awards 2009

Satellite Awards 2009

Kulturnews Award 2010

  • Award for best film 2010

Indiana Film Journalists Association Award

  • Award for best film 2009

The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating particularly valuable.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Up in the Air . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry, December 2009 (PDF; test number: 120 938 K).
  2. Age rating for Up in the Air . Youth Media Commission .
  3. Phil Hoad: Know your film product placement. In: theguardian.com. the Guardian, January 7, 2010, accessed July 21, 2016 .
  4. ^ Up in the Air (2009). In: boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved July 21, 2016 .
  5. ^ Jason Reitman, Walter Kirn (novel), Jason Reitman (screenplay), Sheldon Turner (screenplay): Up in the Air. In: imdb.com. December 23, 2009. Retrieved July 21, 2016 .
  6. a b Up in the Air. In: rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved July 21, 2016 .
  7. a b Up in the Air. In: metacritic.com. Retrieved July 21, 2016 .
  8. Up in the Air in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  9. ^ Up in the Air. In: kino.de. STRÖER Media Brands AG, accessed on July 21, 2016 .
  10. Up in the Air: review and information about the film - moviesection.de. In: moviesection.de. Archived from the original ; accessed on July 21, 2016 .
  11. ^ Up in the Air. In: moviepilot.de. Webedia GmbH, accessed on July 21, 2016 .
  12. German synchronous files. In: synchronkartei.de. Retrieved July 21, 2016 .


  1. ^ The German translation of the novel by Henning Ahrens was published in 2003 in the first edition by Kiepenheuer and Witsch with the ISBN 3-462-03080-9 (Walter Kirn: Mr. Bingham collects miles: Roman . Ed .: Henning Ahrens. 1st edition. Kiepenheuer and Witsch, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-462-03080-9 (320 pages). ).