Biography of Jason Reitman

Jason Reitman is Canadian-American screenwriter, producer and film director, the son of acclaimed comedy director Ivan Reitman (director of Ghostbusters and Animal House), and a four-time Academy Award nominee. Born in Montreal in Canada, but raised in Los Angeles, Jason took an early interest in film, his father's medium. After graduating from USC, Reitman turned down numerous offers to direct more commercial fare, opting instead to make his own shorts and explore a more specific aesthetic. Notably, he twice turned down the opportunity to direct Dude, Where's My Car?

Reitman's first film was Thank You For Smoking, a satirical film about the tobacco industry based on a Christopher Buckley novel and starring Aaron Eckhart. The film was a success and earned two Golden Globe nominations. He followed up with Diablo Cody's first screenplay, Juno, which launched him into the public eye as a formidable directing talent. He received an Oscar nomination for his direction of the film, which is about a teen pregnancy. His next film was Up in the Air, an adaptation of a novel by Walter Kim. The film, starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick, was released in 2009, and earned him another Academy Award nomination for best director.

Other Reitman films include Young Adult, Labor Day, and the upcoming Charlize Theron vehicle Tully (written again by Diablo Cody). Critics have noticed Reitman's attraction to strong source materials with pre-packaged points of view, and his tastefulness and gravitation towards more subdued material than his father. In an article for film blog The Dissolve, critic Keith Phipps writes of Reitman's work, "Reitman is a filmmaker drawn to material in which characters struggle to hold on to their humanity in the face of encroaching darkness. That could mean confronting the impact of their professional choices, as in Thank You For Smoking and Up In The Air, or facing the disillusionment of the teen years with the added complication of an unwanted pregnancy in Juno, or being forced to consider the implications of growing older without growing up in Young Adult."

Study Guides on Works by Jason Reitman

Juno was a groundbreaking film at the time of its release in 2007 for many reasons. Its frank and un-precious depiction of teen pregnancy was witty and crowd-pleasing; the screenplay, by newcomer Diablo Cody was laugh-a-minute while also...