1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.
2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.
Most people travel because they love seeing new places, not because they enjoy spending time in airports. Up in the Air is a movie about a businessman with an unusual passion for airports, airplanes, and life on the road. Ryan Bingham, played by George Clooney, likes living a solitary life as he moves from city to city, never forming strong bonds with other people.
But when Ryan begins a romance with a fellow traveler, his feelings about attachment-free living start to change. Find out if Up in the Air made Mason and Ella want to hit the road.
1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.
2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.
Mason: There’s a lot of Oscar buzz already happening about Up in the Air, the new Clooney movie. Did you see that one?
Ella: No, I haven’t, but I just know it’s about like flying, business…I don’t know, that’s pretty general.
Mason: Yeah, he’s one of those road warrior guys. His job is constantly travel, and he likes it, so it kind of leaves him very unattached, hence the title of the film.
Mason: And I don’t know, I mean it’s kind of a modern tale about like how fast-paced we move, and is that a good thing or a bad thing to not settle down, stuff like that. But I think it reached a little bit further than it achieved as far as the thing they were trying to say. So…you know, but I really liked the commentary on like all the premium cards, how you can get memberships to be a valued customer and get perks.
Ella: So it’s kind of like a lighthearted comedy?
Mason: Not really, no. I thought it was gonna be kinda fun…
Ella: Really? ‘Cause you see George Clooney, you know, flying…It looks kinda like a goofy flick.
Mason: Yeah, and then it’s not goofy. But it’s not like super serious either, so it sits in this weird kinda in between space that was very enjoyable to watch, but ultimately kinda not super memorable, I think.
These days, many of us move around a lot and lead fast-paced lives, making it difficult to form strong attachments to people and places. Up in the Air considers the advantages and disadvantages of that type of lifestyle by showing the ups and downs of George Clooney’s character, a businessman who enjoys his life on the road.
Mason gives Up in the Air a lukewarm review. He enjoyed watching George Clooney and liked some of the amusing commentary on people’s obsession with the special perks you can get if you travel a lot. But he didn’t think the film was a serious drama or a really funny comedy. It was somewhere in the middle. You could say the movie itself was up in the air about what kind of film it wanted to be.
Do you think it’s hard to connect with other people these days? Would you enjoy a life on the road?