The Washington Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) conducted our end-of-the-year awards balloting over the weekend, and the big winner was Up in the Air, which took Best Film, Best Actor (George Clooney), and Best Adapted Screenplay. An Education did well, too, with Carey Mulligan taking Best Actress.
The protagonist of Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, Ryan Bingham, is a hatchet man for hire. The Omaha company that employs him, which goes by the Orwellian name Career Transition Counseling (CTC), rents him out to other companies to fire employees they don’t have the courage to fire themselves. He flies about the country, touching down briefly in Kansas City or Tulsa or Miami, to walk into offices he has never visited and tell workers he has never met that they are being let go.