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Movie Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Saturday, January 10, 2009
I went out with some friends last night to see the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a movie I'd heard good things about from a variety of sources. Roughly based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story by the same name, the movie is framed through a narrative of a woman named Daisy, now on her deathbed, recalling - with her daughter - the story of a man she knew named Benjamin Button through reading journal entries and postcards. Benjamin Button is "curious" because he's born looking like he's 80 yet progresses through his life getting physically younger and younger while the world around him ages normally.

Let's start with the things I enjoyed about the movie. The cinematography was great, and the visual effects of aging were done almost flawlessly. The aging was done very convincingly, and helped suspend disbelief at the otherwise odd story. The acting is almost entirely well done (more on this later) and the direction is fairly consistent. Furthermore, there are some times in the movie that really make you reflect on your own life (in a constructive way), so I'm going to say that the writing was good as well. Finally, the way the movie's framed was exceptionally well done.

But the movie is far from flawless. One of my biggest complaints is that Brad Pitt, while doing a great job looking older than younger, does a terrible job of acting whatever mental age he's going to be. Honestly, his character (could be him, could be the writer) was exceedingly flat. Also, because age is such a factor in the movie, I had a hard time understanding the characters that were so old all they could do was talk in a hoarse whisper. Both problems were distracting at times.

Thinking about it afterwards, I enjoyed the movie. I'm glad I saw it. But, had I not gone to see it with friends I probably wouldn't have seen it in the theatre - and, at just shy of three hours - it's a long time to sit there. But if it's your kind of movie - and I know I can usually tell when I'm the target demographic for a film - then you should definitely check it out.

Final word on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Worth seeing, but worth waiting to watch on DVD .


Anonymous Anonymous said...

it was a little weird to see an old version of Brad Pitt's face pasted onto a kid's body, but i guess that's why they call it a "curious case"

7:12 PM, January 18, 2009  

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