THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
DECEMBER 23, 2013

David Fincher delivers his most sincere venture yet, with the almost three-hour epic drama “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.” Centered on an infant born with the qualities of an old man, complete with cataracts and arthritis, abandoned by his father, and taken in by a black woman named Queenie (Taraji P. Henson), the story of the film follows as the boy ages backward, becoming physically younger every day, but inhabiting the mind of the age to which a normal human would. Brad Pitt plays Benjamin Button for a better part of the film, mostly through CGI, yet still commands this role with sincerity and integrity that is admirable. Cate Blanchett plays the love interest, Daisy, to whom Benjamin falls in love with at a very young age, as the narrative follows the two of them through their entire lives, eventually meeting in the middle of their lives when they look about the same age. The story is told through flashbacks as Daisy lays in a hospital bed, very aged and on her last legs of life, as her daughter reads to her from Benjamin’s journal. This device is used more like chapter markers than anything as we venture through this sordid tale and adds very little besides a few telegraphed twists that are not delved into. The CGI is done as well as possible but still comes off less than authentic, showing the signs of the computer-generated that should be more than covered up with how far technology has come. With some unnecessary jaunts in the story like being involved in the Pearl Harbor bombing aftermath and most of the fishermen story, this film could have been slightly shorter, but in having covered a character’s entire life, that long run-time can slightly be forgiven. At no point does the film feel like a David Fincher film, remaining too upbeat and emotional than any of his previous work, creating this grand tale that truly brings to life the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

RELEASE DATE
December 25, 2008

DIRECTOR
David Fincher

WRITTEN BY
Eric Roth
Robin Swicord (story)

BASED ON
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

STUDIO
Paramount Pictures

PG-13
(for brief war violence, sexual content, language and smoking)

DRAMA
FANTASY
ROMANCE

166 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Claudio Miranda

COMPOSER
Alexandre Desplat

EDITOR
Kirk Baxter
Angus Wall

CAST
Brad Pitt
Cate Blanchett
Taraji P. Henson
Julia Ormond
Jason Flemyng
Elias Koteas
Tilda Swinton
Elle Fanning
Jared Harris
Mahershala Ali

PRODUCED BY
Ceán Chaffin
Kathleen Kennedy
Frank Marshall

BUDGET
$167 million

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