Flying Solo: Mobility in Up in the Air

Isabel Treviño

Abstract


This article analyses the film Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, 2009) to explore one of the ways in which mobilities are reflected in twenty-first century cinema. The film’s main character, played by George Clooney, is presented as a hypermobile traveller that is constantly “on the move” and that has adopted a rootless, nomadic lifestyle that enables him to move at will. Combining contemporary critical theories on mobility with close textual analysis, this article examines the specific type of mobility embodied by the film’s protagonist, based on weightlessness and incessant, frictionless movement, as well as the effects that large-scale mobility has on people’s identities and on the ways in which they relate to other people. As will be argued, the protagonist’s mobility is portrayed differently as the film develops, calling attention to the shortcomings of the highly mobile way of life in the contemporary world.

Keywords: Up in the Air; mobility; mobile elite; mobile intimacy; George Clooney; gender


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