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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

aka The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

"Life isn't measured in minutes, but in moments."

Directed By: 
Details: 166 mins · English, Russian, French · PG-13 (USA)

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From Everybody:

My god, what a disappointment. Quite the most tedious film I’ve seen in a long time. Uninvolving and seemingly interminable, the film-makers seem so certain of the initial impact of their (well, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s) high concept that they don’t feel the need to flesh it out or explore it in any depth. At no point did I really connect with Brad Pitt’s character, which is not surprising since he’s such a blank, personality-free protagonist with nothing particularly interesting to say about his reverse-ageing predicament. The premise is a juicy one, and the scope for insights and observations on society’s attitudes to freaks, ageing, our relationships with our own bodies, male-female relationships are myriad, especially given the near-three-hour running time. But even the comedic possibilities of a young boy in an old man’s body are ignored. Instead we get a listless voice-over offering trite, cod-philosophical nuggets like “Nothing lasts forever” and “You can’t escape your fate”. All th...(more)

My god, what a disappointment. Quite the most tedious film I’ve seen in a long time. Uninvolving and seemingly interminable, the film-makers seem so certain of the initial impact of their (well, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s) high concept that they don’t feel the need to flesh it out or explore it in any depth. At no point did I really connect with Brad Pitt’s character, which is not surprising since he’s such a blank, personality-free protagonist with nothing particularly interesting to say about his reverse-ageing predicament. The premise is a juicy one, and the scope for insights and observations on society’s attitudes to freaks, ageing, our relationships with our own bodies, male-female relationships are myriad, especially given the near-three-hour running time. But even the comedic possibilities of a young boy in an old man’s body are ignored. Instead we get a listless voice-over offering trite, cod-philosophical nuggets like “Nothing lasts forever” and “You can’t escape your fate”. All that was missing was “Life is like a box of chocolates”. The only person who makes any kind of impression, who makes you feel that their character is a living, breathing, interesting human being is the ever-excellent Tilda Swinton. (less)

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Two Thumbs up.

A heartbreakingly sweet movie. I just like Fincher and Pitt together, it's a good fit.

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Cast:

Small Daisy
Small Benjamin Button
Small Elizabeth Abbott
Small Daisy as a Child
Small Thomas Button
Small Monsieur Gateau
Small Caroline
Small Queenie
No_movie_poster Daisy's Best Friend
Small Pleasant Curtis
Small Dorothy Baker
Small Blanche Devereux
No_movie_poster Martin Gateau
No_movie_poster Man at Train Station
Small Teddy Roosevelt
No_movie_poster Priest Giving Last Rites
Small Doctor at Benjamin's Birth
No_movie_poster Caroline Button
No_movie_poster Tizzy
Small Tizzy
Small Dr. Rose
No_movie_poster
No_movie_poster Mrs. Horton
Small Mr. Daws
No_movie_poster Grandma Fuller
Small Captain Mike
No_movie_poster Mrs. Maple

Crew:

No_movie_poster Eric Roth Screenplay
Small David Fincher Director
No_movie_poster F. Scott Fitzgerald Novel
No_movie_poster Kathleen Kennedy Production
Small Frank Marshall Production
No_movie_poster Ceán Chaffin Production
No_movie_poster F. Scott Fitzgerald Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Eric Roth Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Robin Swicord Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Angus Wall Editing

Taglines:

"Life isn't measured in minutes, but in moments."

"Life isn't measured in minutes, but in moments"

Plot:

In 2005, elderly Daisy is on her deathbed in a New Orleans hospital; she asks her daughter, Caroline, to read aloud from the diary of Benjamin Button. From the reading, we learn that on the evening of November 11, 1918, a boy is born with the appearance and physical maladies of an elderly man. The baby's mother died after giving birth, and the father, Thomas Button, abandons the infant on the porch of a nursing home. Queenie and Mr. "Tizzy" Weathers, workers at the nursing home, find the baby, and Queenie decides to care for him as her own.

Benjamin learns to walk in 1925; he declares it a miracle, after which he uses crutches in place of a wheelchair. On Thanksgiving 1930, Benjamin meets six-year-old Daisy, whose grandmother lives in the nursing home. Later, he accepts work on a tugboat captained by Mike. Benjamin also meets Thomas Button, who does not reveal that he is Benjamin's father. In autumn 1936, Benjamin leaves New Orleans for a long-term work engagement with the tugboat crew; Daisy later is accepted into a dance school in New York.

In 1941, Benjamin is in Murmansk, where he begins having an affair with Elizabeth Abbott, wife of the British Trade Minister. That December, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, thrusting America into World War II. Mike volunteers the boat for the U.S. Navy; the crew is assigned to salvage duties. During a patrol, the tugboat finds a sunken U.S. transport and the bodies of 1,300 American troops. A German submarine surfaces; Mike steers the tugboat full speed towards it while a German gunner fires on the tugboat, killing most of the crew including Mike. The tugboat rams the submarine, causing it to explode, sinking both vessels. Benjamin and another crewman are rescued by U.S. Navy ships the next day.

In May 1945, Benjamin returns to New Orleans and reunites with Queenie. A few weeks later, he reunites with Daisy; they go out for dinner. Upon failing to seduce him afterward, she departs. Benjamin later reunites with Thomas Button, who, terminally ill, reveals he is Benjamin's father. Thomas wills Benjamin his possessions before he dies.

In 1947, Benjamin visits Daisy in New York unannounced, but departs upon seeing that she has fallen in love with someone else. In 1954, Daisy's dance career ends in Paris when a taxi cab crushes her leg. When Benjamin visits her, Daisy is amazed by his youthful appearance, but frustrated by her injuries, she tells him to stay out of her life.

In spring 1962, Daisy returns to New Orleans and reunites with Benjamin. Now of comparable physical age, they fall in love and go sailing together. Upon their return, they learn that Queenie has died; they move in together after the funeral. In 1967, Daisy has opened a ballet studio and tells Benjamin that she is pregnant; she gives birth to a girl, Caroline in spring 1968. Believing he cannot be a father to his daughter due to his reverse aging, Benjamin sells his belongings, leaves the proceeds to Daisy and Caroline, and departs the next spring; he travels alone during the 1970s.

Benjamin returns to Daisy in 1980. Now married, Daisy introduces him to her husband and daughter as a family friend. Daisy admits that he was right to leave; she could not have coped otherwise. She later visits Benjamin at his hotel, where they share their passion for each other. After saying their good-nights, Benjamin watches Daisy leave in a taxi from his window.

Sometime in the early 1990s, widowed Daisy is contacted by social workers who have found Benjamin — now physically a preteen. When she arrives, they explain that he was living in a condemned building and was taken to the hospital in poor health, and that they found her name in his diary. The bewildered social workers also say he is displaying early signs of dementia. Daisy moves into the nursing home in 1997 and cares for Benjamin for the rest of his life. In the spring of 2003, Benjamin dies in Daisy's arms, physically an infant but chronologically 84 years of age. Daisy dies on her deathbed as Hurricane Katrina approaches.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 2008-12-25 : United States of America

DVD : 2009-05-05