Up in the Air is not revolutionary and its thesis, however insightful, is not one-of-a-kind. But it is the kind of thing we used to take for granted in Hollywood. It is well-written and sharply observational.
As an audience we are rooting for the well-oiled clichè of boy meets girl. What sets Up in the Air apart is its willingness to divert from the superficial and go inside to the uncomfortable truth of life.
Before, we were talking about an exceptionally sophisticated indie film with a big star, George Clooney, in the lead. Now we are looking at Up in the Air as a wunder-film that hits the Zeitgeist just so, landing on every top ten list.