George Clooney received his third Oscar nomination for portraying Ryan Bingham in Up in the Air.
George Clooney's performance in this film fails to ever interest or intrigue me. Why because he fails to realize anything past himself in terms of his characterization, especially in this performance as Ryan Bingham, which would be described as coasting to its fullest extent. Now one could argue, no that is because he has so much ease in the part as to look like he is coasting, but they would be wrong. Clooney does not show an ease with the part because he is not playing a part, but just being himself and reading lines for most of the film, although not all of it.
When Clooney was doing anything as Bingham, whether it was giving his stupid speeches about back packs or when he is doing one of his firing speeches, I really just see Clooney making these speeches, I sense no character along with him, just Clooney reciting. Now I again would could criticize me due to my liking of performances from people like Clark Gable, or Sidney Poitier who many accuse of just playing themselves in certain roles. I would say no they take their self and utilize it for the performance, but Clooney just plays himself, there is a big difference, due to a lack of conviction in the actual character.
The scenes that require Clooney to come out of his comfort zone such as when he talks about his big frequent flyer mileage build up. Now this should be a distinct feature of Ryan Bingham but one will notice that Clooney really fails to really convey the excitement Bingham probably should have over this achievement of his lifetime. Instead in this scene he frankly seems rather uninterested in the prospect himself, because he just seems to be saying it with a little emphasis, but a phony feeling emphasis, because he still is just being Clooney.
Clooney fails there and many similar moments, and his big changes in the character are not ones I find he is able to pull off either, because again he fails to develop Bingham into a human being keeping him instead always on the surface lacking any real depth to really portray a conviction to make Bingham a believable person. Clooney is challenged more near the end where he must evaluate his life, Clooney self evaluation part is as uninteresting as the rest of his performance, and really he changes gives rather telegraphed glances to portray everything such as feelings of being betrayed by who he thought was a kindred spirit, or when he loses his belief in his back pack speech. It still never becomes internalized in any fashion, it always stays as an external performance, that relies too heavily on his supposed charisma, which frankly I just have never found to be that charming.