The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

2008

Drama / Fantasy / Romance

440
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 73%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 80%
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 532,991

Synopsis


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April 11, 2019

Director

Cast

Brad Pitt as Partygoer / Preppie Kid at Fight
Cate Blanchett as Charlotte Gray
Elle Fanning as Mei Kusakabe
Tilda Swinton as Maloin feles├ęge
720p.BLU
649.81 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
166 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 8 / 10 / 10

As Time Goes By

I found this to be an interesting film; certainly not boring as I had heard from a few people who saw it in the theater. To me, it was simply good storytelling. Yes, it's slow, especially by today's movie standards, but it's certainly a unique story and it's nicely filmed, acted and directed. Story-wise, it's one of those films I understand if people love it or hate it. I'm somewhat in the middle and leaning toward the positive. For a movie that runs for over 2 hours and 40 minutes and is not some suspense or action film, it has to be pretty good to hold one's interest. I can only speak for myself; it held my interest for 95 percent of it. I think the first two-thirds of the movie is the best. Brad Pitt as "Benjamin Button" is pretty fascinating, as is the story of him growing up from a wrinkled, old man-baby to a mid-40s guy. When he re-unites with childhood friend "Daisy" (Cate Blanchett) and becomes her lover, the film bogs down in a few spots but few people are going to stop watching after investing two hours. It picks up again, especially in the last minutes when "Benjamin" begins to finally become younger than an adult. There's a sadness to this story, especially near the end but overall, even though it's central theme seems to be "death," I don't think it's a depressing film. It does remind us, in a big way, that the longer we're around, the more death of friends and loved ones we witness. That's just a sad fact of life. I hear about it all time with my father, who is 91 years old and has seen almost all of his friends die. It's especially true in this story when Benjamin starts off and has a lot of old friends to begin with! "Benjamin" was an odd person to me; you could root for him, yet not admire him. He often treated people only to satisfy his desires and could have been so much more. Yet, being "a fly on the wall" and observing his interesting life, was memorable, making this a film worthy of the time invested to watch it. In the end, the movie made me appreciate the friends I do have, and not to take any of them for granted as life passes us by so fast, no matter what direction we're headed!

Reviewed by thorneer 10 / 10 / 10

Fine-looking and well acted, but ultimately flat (possible spoilers)

"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" would seem to have everything going for it - major stars, an enormous budget, and a conceit that can't be beat. However, in the end it's that very conceit that hamstrings an otherwise wondrous piece of movie-making. Fincher's characters tend to be psychos, paranoiacs, obsessives, some of whom struggle vainly against the darkness in their own souls, but many others who have embraced it. Benjamin Button is none of the above, and that's perhaps his problem. Button, born "under unusual circumstances" in 1918 New Orleans, spends his early life literally surrounded by death, raised, as he is, by an orderly in a home for the elderly. As a prematurely old man himself (an effect achieved by fantastic MOCAP work from Pitt), perhaps it's not surprising that as he grows into a body with which he may truly engage the world, he is more content to observe appreciably. Now, this may be true to the spirit of the character, but unfortunately for Fincher and his screenwriter, Eric Roth, it doesn't make for very interesting cinema. At a recent screening, Roth referred to Button's character as the "anti-Gump", a classification that seemed both apt and problematic. This film will certainly earn comparisons to Robert Zemeckis' modern classic(also written by Roth), but where that film had a truly fascinating central character, who experienced as many mistakes and tragedies as victories and happiness, Fincher and Roth's protagonist is a cipher. There's a telling sequence around the middle of the film, where Button, by now a merchant seaman holed up in a dingy hotel in Murmansk, strikes up a relationship with a bored wife of a minor British official (Tilda Swinton). Unable to sleep, they meet each night for tea and good conversation (and later, sex). But instead of letting us hear what those conversations are about, he simply creates a montage, set to music, of various meetings fading into one another. By the time Swinton's character departs the film, we know next to nothing new about Benjamin other than that he has trouble sleeping and likes hot tea. The fact is that even Swinton's character, on screen for perhaps fifteen minutes, is more engaging. It's a frustrating glimpse of what might have been, had the filmmakers chosen to put the character before the gimmick, instead of the other way around. Which brings us to Cate Blanchett. As Daisy, whom Benjamin meets as a young girl and who grows into a luminously beautiful and troubled ballet dancer, Blanchett shines as brightly as she ever has on screen. Unlike Benjamin, Daisy is not content to simply accept whatever life throws her way - she has dreams and attempts to act on them, and does her best to lead a normal, interesting life. Benjamin, passive as always, must quietly observe as she grows out of the playmate of his "youth" and into a somewhat headstrong woman who nonetheless possessed of enormous potential. His loyalty pays off, though, when circumstances bring them together again at a time when they both happen to be the same age - a fleeting moment, and one they will cherish. But again, the relationship between couple and audience is one-sided, because while we can see why Daisy would wish to return to the rock-steady loyalty of Benjamin, it's unclear what he feels about her other than a regard (she's certainly lovely enough). We are told in rather soggy voice-over narration (spread throughout the film) that Daisy is "the most beautiful person I'd ever seen", but that's all we'll get. And so it goes, for nearly three hours. We cut frequently, and irritatingly, back to a modern-day hospital in New Orleans, where a dying Daisy asks her daughter (Julia Ormond) to read to her from Benjamin's diary as Hurricane Katrina pounds on the windows. There's something being said in these scenes about regret and the passage of time, but the appealing Ormond's character is one-note, and Blanchett seems nearly suffocated under pounds of old age makeup. It's from this diary whence springs Benjamin's narration, but, as Mr. Roth pointed out, Gump this ain't. Suffice it to say that the budget is up there on screen as we go on this strange trip through the twentieth century with Brad Pitt as our guide. A possibly unintentional (I doubt it) laugh arises mid-film when Benjamin finally reaches something around Pitt's own age. He strides into a garage in the mid-50's, decked out in leather jacket and shades, and whips a tarp off a motorcycle, on which he speeds out to the harbor to do some bare-chested sailing on a boat he builds himself (the shades remain on his head). It's a knowing wink to the wish-fulfillment of the casting - who wouldn't want their old crotchety husband to get younger and younger until they looked like Brad Pitt? - and a clever way to underscore the underlying tragedy of the situation. Sure, he looks like Brad Pitt in "Fight Club", "Se7en", "Thelma & Louise", but eventually he's going to look like Brad Pitt in "Cutting Class", and then Brad Pitt in seventh grade, and finally Brad Pitt as a toddler, and that's not so sexy. Pitt does a fine job. It's a pity that Fincher, who has used him to such great effect twice before, didn't let him cut loose. Instead this is his most low-key performance since Meet Joe Black, in which he played Death, who was really just a nice young man curious about the world. Come to think of it, that's pretty much all that Benjamin Button is, and, if nothing else, he knows more about death than just about anybody around. Too bad that a film that means to affirm life turns out to be rather lifeless.

Reviewed by ognjenbasara1 10 / 10 / 10

Incredible movie, moves a man

Beautiful piece of art, enjoyed every minute of it, incredible acting and storytelling.

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