Thursday, January 14, 2010

dinner and a movie: Up in the Air

Welcome to my Monday morning recap (on Thursday afternoon) of my fabulous dinner and a movie date with myself!

Up In the Air is Jason Reitman's third film. I really enjoyed Thank You For Smoking and absolutely adored Juno, so I had high hopes for Up in the Air

George Clooney, who is fantastic in this role, plays a man who travels more than 300 days a year. His job is to fire people, and he has the perfect balance of charisma and toughness needed to fire people he doesn't know for a living. After seeing the trailer many, many times, I worried this film would be hampered by a trailer that gives away it's climax (if you've seen the trailer, then you know what I'm referring to). I was pleasantly surprised to see I was wrong. I don't want to spoil the film's actual climax(es), but rest assured, friends, you don't know too much going into the film.

Another pleasant surprise was the humor. Yes, I expected it to be funny; I laughed in the trailer. The things I laughed at in the trailer were even funnier in the film. The movie is funny on multiple layers. It's smart on multiple layers. It's moving in a beautifully real way. 

As a traveler, it was fun to see a film set in so many places and airports. As a Midwesterner, it was fun to see a film set in so many Midwestern cities. Those aerial shots of Des Moines, Wichita, Omaha and Kansas City? They're real. As someone prone to love aerial photography, especially motion aerial photography, I was in love with this movie visually. Visually impressive, funny, smart and moving? Yes, it is all of these things and so many more. The instant it was over, I wanted to watch it again. It's a film I will watch many, many times when it comes out on dvd. 

The three main characters, played wonderfully by George Clooney, Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga, shine. Yes, it's George Clooney's story, but it's really the story of much more, told through three varied people in similar situations. 

My one regret of sorts: I did not get around to reading Walter Kirn's novel the movie was based on. I will, though. 

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5 stars)
Running time: 109 minutes
Release date: it's in theaters now
Source: I saw it at the Spectrum Theaters, my local independent movie house.

After a fantastic movie, it was wonderful to dine at New World Bistro Bar, my favorite restaurant in Albany, which is conveniently located next door to the Spectrum Theaters.

I started with a special deviled egg. The yolk had been mixed with monkfish liver and masago. They were two of the most delicious things I have ever had. I was already a fan of monkfish liver and deviled eggs, but this dish took both to new heights. 

For my second course, I had a small portion of the mushroom risotto, one of my favorite dishes. 

For my third course, I had another appetizer special: sweetbreads two ways. One way was in a ravioli with a tangy red sauce. The second way was pan fried and delectable. 

For my fourth course, I eschewed dessert for another order of those amazing monkfish liver deviled eggs. The light in the picture does not do them justice (nor does the bite I took out of the top one and tried to disguise by turning away from me). I hope the kitchen continues experimenting with deviled eggs. I love the wasabi tobiko eggs on the regular menu, but the world cannot have too many fancy deviled eggs!


  1. I've been wanting to see this movie so badly! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. I hope to see it before it leaves theaters.

  2. I loved this movie for all the reasons you mentioned, and I just might see it again! I haven't read the book either, though.

  3. I had mixed feelings about this movie because it made me so sad but I thought it had a good message. Great review!


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