Who Is Jason Reitman?
Born on October 19, 1977, in Montreal, Canada, Jason Reitman appeared as an actor in father Ivan Reitman's films before launching a directing career of his own. After helming Thank You for Smoking, Reitman earned Academy Award nominations for Juno, with Ellen Page, and Up in the Air, with George Clooney. The auteur also directed the 2011 picture Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron.
Early Years and Career
Film director. Born October 19, 1977 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The son of famed director Ivan Reitman ( Stripes and Ghostbusters), Jason Reitman grew up on his father's film sets surrounded by such comedic greats as Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd, even working as an extra from time to time.
Though he showed a natural talent for filmmaking as a teenager, Jason Reitman was determined to step out from behind his father's shadow. After graduating from Harvard-Westlake School in Hollywood, he made a failed attempt at a pre-med degree at Skidmore College in upstate New York. He returned to Los Angeles, and enrolled at the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television.
Rather than accepting offers to make big-budget feature films, however, Reitman directed television commercials and bankrolled his first shorts, 1998's Operation, 2000's In God We Trust and 2004's Consent, which met with critical acclaim.
'Thank You For Smoking' and 'Juno'
His first full-length feature film as both writer and director, Thank You For Smoking, debuted in 2005. The acerbic, satirical indie comedy was based on a novel by Christopher Buckley about a crafty spin-doctor for the tobacco lobby. The film received rave reviews as a realistic satire with believable heroes, and Jason received praise for traveling a different comedic road than the elder Reitman.
Reitman's next feature film, 2007's Juno, starred indie starlet Ellen Page, who played a high school girl forced to deal with an unwanted pregnancy. The witty, heartwarming film won numerous accolades, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Director, Reitman's first.
'Up in the Air'
Two years later, Reitman directed, produced and co-wrote Up in the Air (2009), which starred George Clooney. Clooney played Ryan Bingham, an expert in corporate downsizing who is hired by different companies to handle the unpleasant task of firing their unwanted employees. Constantly on the go, Bingham thrives as a frequent flyer with few attachments on the ground. A young corporate upstart (played by Anna Kendrick) threatens to put an end to his jet-setting ways by computerizing the process. He takes her on the road to show her the importance of the face-to-face encounter in their work. Along the way, Bingham takes up with another business traveler (played by Vera Farmiga).
The film opened to warm reviews, and went on to collect a number of honors. Reitman and co-writer Sheldon Turner took home Golden Globe, Writers Guild of America, and BAFTA awards for Best Screenplay. The film was also in the running for six Academy Awards, including three for Reitman for Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
In January 2019, Reitman revealed his covert work on a sequel to his father's Ghostbusters by releasing a teaser for the upcoming flick.
Jason Reitman married Michele Lee in 2004. The couple had one daughter, Josephine, before Reitman filed for divorce in 2011.
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