Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

One of the best things about living in Worcester was that you could still find stuff to do after 10pm. In Stony Brook it is difficult to find anything, but its pretty much impossible in Natick. Now that Christmas presumably isn't coming for another year, everything is closed before 9. The one exception... the movie theater.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is basically a really weird version of Forest Gump. There is not much a plot, just Bradd Pitt wandering through the 20th century, aging backwards, and meeting people.

Technically, the movie is very well made. Like in his previous film Zodiac, director David Fincher uses a wide variety of special effects to affect the look of the film stock as well as the look of the characters as they age (and in this case de-age) over the course of the film. The cinematography and set design are also excellent.

The only problem I had with the movie was the relationship between Benjamin and Daisy. Their relationship is the emotional core of the film and the only constant thread as the film progresses. The problem is... it doesn't really work. Both Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett both play their roles well, but its hard to imagine charactors more orthogonal to one another. Their relationship is proposterous, not because Benjamin is aging backwards, but because the charactors have absolutely nothing in common. I think the film still works well despite this, but some of the more emotional moments fall a little flat.

Overall, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is an interesting movie. Just as Zodiac was completely underrated, I think Benjamin Button is being overrated. Its definitely worth seeing, but its certainly not the best film of the year. If you liked Forest Gump or David Fincher's previous films I'd check it out. If you, like Roger Ebert, think the idea of a man aging backwards is too ridiculous, I'd avoid this and go see Bolt or something.

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