Char and I were able to get out to a movie this evening (thanks to the stellar babysitting services of my Mom and Dad), and we caught The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I’ve been wanting to see since the first trailers were released nearly a year ago. David Fincher is a great director, and even his films that don’t totally engross me (such as the Jodi Foster vehicle “Panic Room”) still have moments in them.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button however is epic in scope, gorgeous in execution, and tells a haunting and memorable story.
The tale revolves around a man who ages in reverse, starting out as an infant who is infirm and elderly, and ending as an old man who is an infant.
In telling the tale, Fincher relies on a diary as the narrative device. The story is read by the daughter of the love of Benjamin’s life, with vivid flashbacks, and the odd pure voiceover to carry the story.
Under a lesser skilled director this movie could have become a rehash of Forrest Gump, with Button visiting and being involved in key moments of history, and while history does unfold around him, Button doesn’t get inserted into the events.
Despite my hatred of three hour movies, I think this story warranted the epic treatment that it got, and while there was some fat that could have been trimmed, in the end it was a grand tale that benefitted from being stretched out.
I’d compare this movie a little bit to Tim Burton’s Big Fish in that it had the same dreamy quality. Big Fish is a movie that men seem to like much more than women, perhaps because of the father-son touchstone moments that men can relate to. Benjamin Button had a lot of those little moments where I just wanted to hug Kaylin and Maks, but maybe just because I’m a big sap.
Everything about this film was amazing, from the make-up and flawless CGI work, to the incredibly beautiful cinematography by Claudio Miranda to Alexandre Desplat’s score. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this movie get nominated for pretty much every category for the Academy Awards.
So far this last week we’ve seen Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and these movies have made me remember why I wanted to be in film in the first place, they truly are the best of the year.