- Name: Jason Reitman
- DOB: 19 October 1977 (age 36), in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- Years active: 1989 – present
Jason Reitman had somewhat of a legacy to live up to, as his father, Ivan Reitman, is the director of many successful films, and his mother an actress. Ivan directed many comedy films, like Ghostbusters and Kindergarten Cop, and so Reitman obviously felt a pressure to be accepted in the industry as he grew up. His stunning resume of films proves that Reitman certainly has lived up to that legacy, and then some.
As a child, he lived in Los Angeles, and during school holidays, he was often on set with his father. Reitman worked as a production assistant for his father and spent a lot of time in the editing rooms, learning film processes. He also appeared in small acting parts.
Reitman studied at the University of Southern California, and majored in English/Creative Writing. During his time at university, he started making short films despite offers to make commercial feature films (he was offered the opportunity to direct Dude, Where’s My Car?, but declined). His first feature film debuted in 2005.
Reitman has directed 6 features films and 6 shorts. Below are five of his most memorable works:
- Thank You For Smoking (2005):
This satirical comedy is Reitman’s first feature film, and was a critical and commercial success. Based on the Christopher Buckley novel of the same name, it follows the story of Big Tobacco lobbyist Nick Naylor. The film was nominated for two Golden Globes – for Best Picture, and Best Actor (Aaron Eckhart as Nick Naylor). It grossed over $39 million worldwide, and is one of Reitman’s most successful films.
- Juno (2007):
Juno: the cultural phenomenon. The film about teenage pregnancy and the pressures of adult life won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for several other awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress (Ellen Page as Juno). The music in the film also struck a chord with audiences, becoming the first number one soundtrack since the Dreamgirls soundtrack.
- Up in the Air (2009):
The isolated life of George Clooney – not a sentence you’d usually read, eh? In Up in the Air, Clooney plays a corporate “downsizer” and commitment-phobe. The film earned various accolades, including six Golden Globe nominations and six Academy Award nominations. It received critical acclaim and Clooney’s performance was widely praised by critics.
- Young Adult (2011):
Working with Diablo Cody again to strike script gold (he previously worked with her on Juno), Reitman directed this darkly funny film about a 30-something woman obsessed with acting like a teenager. It received positive reviews from critics and is an excellent and biting examination of prolonged adolescence.
- Men, Women & Children (2014):
Reitman’s latest film, Men, Women & Children, is a provocative and heartfelt analysis of the huge impact that technology and social media have had on our relationships. The timely approach to themes relevant to today’s audience, as well as Reitman’s innovative use of screens on film, is a welcome point-of-difference for this stunning feature. A festival favourite at London Film Festival in October, the film boasts an all-star cast, including: Jennifer Garner, Adam Sandler, Ansel Elgort, Rosemarie DeWitt, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, Emma Thompson and Kaitlyn Dever. See it in Australian cinemas on 27th November.