Monday, February 15, 2010

Homo Viator

It was strange, just days before the Christmas bombing attempt, to watch George Clooney's smooth concourse through airports as Ryan Bingham, the traveling man with exceptional flying credentials and scant human connections.

The metaphor may be too cute, but the script and acting painted a vivid picture of the times.  The upper Midwestern wedding scene is a classic.  The Canadian director and scriptwriter Jason Reitman also produced Juno in 2007 and the film had that feel to it.

The social cues are confused, and the cultural props for relationships have been removed.  Even  for the well-intentioned, platitudes don't hold up.  The generational clash between Bingham and a tech-savvy young colleague implies an accusation of selfishness, for having left young people without the signposts for communal life.

Even Ryan's cynical answer to the question "How much does your life weigh?"can't protect him from the journey.

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