Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, starring George Clooney, will launch at the Toronto Film Fest (where loyal Canadian Reitman debuted Thank You for Smoking and Juno). This is classic pre-Oscar positioning.
Up in the Air is one of Paramount’s possible Oscar plays this year, along with summer release Star Trek and Martin Scorsese’s tough thriller Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which is taking a wide release commercial route in October, more like The Departed. Clearly Paramount plans to push both fall films into success before going nuts on Oscar ad spends. Thus they’re skipping the standard year-end awards season release plan. Up in the Air‘s release is a tad up in the air, as they figure out the exact game plan.
This marks Reitman’s first big-studio release; his father Ivan Reitman backed the picture through Cold Spring and Montecito. Reitman adapted the novel by Walter Kirn about a corporate downsizing consultant (Clooney) flying overtime to stack up 10 million frequent flyer miles. Here’s the latest poster. Word is, the movie is a fresh, unique and populist comedy with emotion, and a great vehicle for Clooney and Vera Farmiga.
Some Oscar experts are questioning how effective conventional print “for your consideration” Oscar ads are these days; they’re trending toward getting their movies out to the general public first and then selling the industry in a less overt way with online consumer-friendly ads instead.