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Up in the Air's Quest for Coors

In less than a month — February 2 to be exact —  the nominations for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards will be announced. This year’s competition is expected to be particularly intense, however some critics believe that the race for Best Picture will come down to James Cameron’s Avatar and Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air. It’s the age-old "revolutionary technology" vs. “textured filmaking” battle to the death tale. 

I’ve seen each film and have my personal opinion but that’s not what this blog is about. In fairness to both, there is one crucial — and I’m willing to bet unnoticed — element that the Academy should consider before making a fully-informed Best Picture decision. It's for them I write this post to hopefully shed light moving forward on what I call Up in the Air's Budweiser Quest for Coors storyline.

While Avatar will forever be remembered for its epic three-dimensional battles between Colonel Quaritch’s army of earthings and the planet of Pandora’s Na'vi people, it's Up in the Air that wages the real face-off. 

Up in the Air focuses on Ryan Bingam — played by George Clooney — a corporate downsizing expert who travels 322 days out of the year for work (he spends “the other 43 in misery at home”), flying from city to city to fire other people’s employees. First important note: Outside of Up in the Air, Mr. Clooney is the voice of Budweiser.  Watch and listen to the clip below; I think you'll agree, you can't go wrong with Beachwood aging and the choicest hops. 

But back to the film — Mr Bingham’s overarching motivation throughout most of the story is to reach the holy grail of status, 10-million frequent flyer miles, which will place him in the most elite group of travelers, get his name etched on the side of a plane and a chance to meet American Airlines' chief pilot Maynard Finch — played by the great Sam Elliott. During the film, I sensed Mr. Bingham was on a Wizard of Oz-like quest for meaning — while alienating family and friends — to finally obtain his ultimate goal, and the opportunity to shake hands with the legendary and mysterious captain. Second important note: When not in movies, Mr. Elliott is none other than the voice of Coors Banquet beer. Watch and listen to the commercial below.

I'll explain where this going. Throughout Up in the Air, the voice of Budweiser travels almost aimlessly without a sense of real purpose. However he is on a quest, trying to obtain status and searching for the wizard (the pilot) to find direction (or his way home). He twists and turns throughout his nomadic life, finally reaches the end, and who's there? The voice of COORS! The movie climaxes with an old-fashioned showdown at the O.K. Corral (and champagne) between Bud and Coors. 

Because some might say this sub-sub-subplot is "subjective" or perhaps even "non-existent," it should come as no surprise that the Budweiser Quest for Coors tale has gone completely overlooked — until now. I feel it is my responsibility to bring these incredible voice connections to the Academy's attention. Do what you will with this information.

As a bonus, check out Mr. Elliot in the video below giving a presentation on why Coors is so awesome. I have to worn you though, after listening to his speech you may feel inclined to say goodbye to your hippie Sierra Nevada and hello to the Banquet beer

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