The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the new movie by David Fincher, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. It’s nominated for about a hundred Oscars. It’s based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Plot:
At the end of World War I, a baby is born – but it’s the ugliest baby anyone has ever seen. He looks like an old man. Disgusted and shocked by his wife’s death, the father [Jason Flemyng] abandons the baby on the steps of an old persons’ home, where it is found by the motherly caretaker Queenie [Taraji P. Henson], who takes him in and calls him Benjamin.
Benjamin [Brad Pitt] ages in reverse. He was born an old man, but with each year that passes, he gets younger and younger. As a child, he meets Daisy [Cate Blanchett], the love of his life who will continue to be the connecting thread in his restless existence.

What a sweeping movie. There’s absolutely everything in it. It’s wonderfully done. It could have been a little shorter though. But it’s definitely a movie you should see.

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[SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS]

Well, first of all: Wow. Wow to the make-up (and CGI) department of this  movie. It’s absolutely incredible how realisticly young AND old Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett looked. And it never looks fake. I could never pinpoint it when it was used [I mean, I know that neither Brad Pitt nor Cate Blanchett are 80 years old, but you know what I mean, right?]. It’s incredibly subtle, too.
Just wow.

Good, got that cleared. :)

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The performances from everybody involved were great. Brad Pitt shows that he actually can act [a fact I tend to forget because of some of his movie choices]. Cate Blanchett is sexy and beautiful [did I mention that I have a huge woman crush on Cate Blanchett?], but not only that, she’s also convincing, charismatic and becomes Daisy. Completely [Why didn’t she get an Oscar nomination?]. Taraji P. Henson is good, but actually, I’d have rather given Tilda Swinton the Oscar nomination [just a small question: I know that Tilda Swinton is not what Hollywood would consider pretty, but who had the crazy idea to describe her as plain? I mean, she has an extraordinary face. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to personal taste. But she definitely isn’t plain].

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The story doesn’t have much to do with the original short story anymore. In fact, all that stayed the same was the title, Benjamin Button’s name and the idea of reversed ageing. [Although it was differently executed in the movie than in the short story.] Not even the time stayed the same: In the story, Benjamin is born in 1860 and fights in the US civil war. Here, he’s born in 1918 and fights in World War II.
In the story, there’s no Daisy, no old persons’ home, no Queenie, Thomas Button is Robert Button and makes nails, not buttons and Benjamin has a son, who takes care of him when he dies.

I really don’t know why they bothered to call it The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at all. They could have a completely new thing. I mean, they did make a completely new thing.

In case that sounds like complaining: It isn’t. I liked the story of the film better than the short story. I’m just wondering is all.

The dementia and how Daisy took care of Benjamin… I suddenly had something in my eyes. *sniff*

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The dancing was wonderful. Cate Blanchett actually danced most of it herself. [I think my crush on her just got bigger. If that’s even possible.] I would have liked to see more of it.

But then again, the movie was already very long and could have done with a little shortening. Just a few tweaks here and there. But I didn’t mind that too much.

Other than that, David Fincher’s directing was assertive, but also very sensitive. You could see that he really cared for the characters.

I didn’t expect it to be so funny – there were a few scenes where I actually laughed out loud [especially the lightning episodes].

Eric Roth‘s writing is good. Yes, the film is a lot like Forrest Gump, but I did like that movie as well, so who cares?

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So, summarising: A very good movie and a must see for everyone. You’ll laugh and you’ll cry and you will enjoy yourself.

2 thoughts on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

  1. See? Made of win, as I said.

    And the music!!! The music!!!

    (I’m staying faithful in my love for WALL-E, btw. The Revolutionary Road score was sort of repetitive, like a good Newman score arranged by Philipp Glass.)

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