By Brian Brooks | Indiewire September 28, 2009 at 9:02AM
The 2009 Hamptons International Film Festival has added to its line up with co-writer/director Jason Reitman's ("Juno") "Up in the Air" joining the 2009 roster. Starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, the film is the story of Ryan Bingham (Clooney), a corporate downsizer and consummate modern business traveler who, after years of staying happily airborne, suddenly finds himself ready to make a real connection.
When he falls for a simpatico fellow traveler (Vera Farmiga), Ryan's boss (Jason Bateman), inspired by a young, upstart efficiency expert (Anna Kendrick), threatens to permanently call him in from the road. Faced with the prospect, at once terrifying and exhilarating, of being grounded, Ryan begins to contemplate what it might actually mean to have a home.
"'Up in the Air' represents the filmmaking at its highest level, with sharp direction from Jason Reitman, George Clooney at the top of his game, and Anna Kendrick in a truly star-making performance commented HIFF director of programming David Nugent in a statement. "The film manages to veer so effortlessly between hilarity and pathos, since the issues that explores are serious, but ripe with comic possibilities. Like the best comedies, Reitman and his team walk this tightrope perfectly."
Mira Nair benefit and "Young Victoria" also a HIFF highlight
Director Mira Nair ("Monsoon Wedding") will attend the Hamptons fest, taking place on Long Island, New York's east end October 8 - 12, to present "8," a collection of short films by eight veteran directors including Wim Wenders, Jane Campion, Gus Van Sant and herself. Each spotlights one of the eight "Millennium Development Goals" for 2015, adopted by 191 countries. She will also share the work of MAISHA, her non-profit African Film Lab established to "empower emerging artitsts in the region. The premiere screening with Mira Nair will be moderated by former HIFF programming director Rajendra Roy, who now serves as chief curator of film at MoMA. 100% of the proceeds for the evening will be donated to Maisha Film Lab.
The festival has also added Montreal filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee's ("C.R.A.Z.Y.") latest, "The Young Victoria" to the line up. Starring Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson and Jim Broadbent, the film recalls Great Britain's Queen Victoria's ascension to the throne, focusing on the early years of her long reign and her romance and marriage to Prince Albert. 2005 HIFF Rising Star Emily Blunt plays the young queen that assumes power during the last days of England's golden age. The object of a royal power struggle, with everyone trying to win her favor from her the moment of her birth, including her own mother, Victoria is the target of the advances and attention of the charming prime minister Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany) and her handsome cousin Albert (Rupert Friend). The film recently closed the Toronto International Film Festival.