This film is definitely a sign that Jason Reitman is truly one of the leading directors of his time. This is both a timely and timeless cinematic gem. There are elements of the stroy that will no doubt date it, but the broader themes and concepts are what make it timeless.
George Clooney one again proves why he's a modern Cary Grant with his captivating portrayal of Ryan Bingham, a man set in his ways who flies around the country firing people for a living. As the film's tagline says, he's a man looking to make a connection, which he finds in Alex, his female equivalent. Along the way, Ryan is forced to show the ropes to an ambitious up and comer named Natalie who tries to push a less personal but more efficient way of telling people they've been let go.
Vera Farmiga shines as Alex, showing that her good but overshadowed turn in The Departed was just a warm up for something juicy like this. Anna Kendrick may be associated with the Twilight films, but those do her no justice as an actress. She really shows up her chops, and is absolutely brilliant, easily holding her own against the veterans.
This film is many things: serious, quirky, sad, funny, but most of all, real. Everything blends together nicely, which is good considering that this film has so much to offer (part rom-com, part character study, part docudrama). It could have easily become a jumbled mess, but Reitman is great at holding it all together seamlessly and making it work.
It's a real shame this film didn't get mroe attention at the Oscars, because it's one of the finest films of the past decade.