The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

By Greg Treadway / Posted on January 23, 2009

When I first started to go through this reversal of aging film I was skeptical. I knew right away that this was a story adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald. From what I recall about that book things don’t go so well. I also did not recall the book talking about the mother after this monster birth of a 5 foot 2 one hundred pound man. Once out Button proceeds to grow in reverse. He gets younger while all of those around him get older. The story is quite tragic.

As the movie progresses and follows the life of Mr. Button, he grows from this delicate man into a Brad Pitt sized person, and one we quite recognize. The movie follows his life from his “childhood” years in New Orleans, through his employment as a ship hand, his affair with a diplomat’s wife (played by Tilda Swinton) and his pursuit of the love of his life, Daisy (Cate Blanchett).
Every couple of years Brad Pitt comes out with these epic sort of movies and movies with really long titles, whether it beAssassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford,Meet Joe BlackSeven Years In Tibet and probably a couple of others, and the one thing they all seem to have in common is that they really are not that good. Or at least the don’t live up to the hype that surrounds a Brad Pitt movie. I always find that Pitt excels in a lot of the smaller roles he plays, whether it be Mickey in Snatch, Floyd inTrue Romance or Rusty inOcean’s Eleven. It’s those long-ass movies that just haven’t done it for me. It’s not necessarily his performance, just the movie in general.

For about half the movie whenBenjamin is a little old man, there is little to recognize of the buff and dreamy Brad Pittas we normally know him. You may want to think it is another actor. Funny what special effects and all that other technology can do. To be fair, Pitt does a fair amount of good acting that helps you suspend your disbelief. As Benjamin does start becoming more physically in view to the Brad Pitt we know, the women in the audience come to life. The moments in his life that we peer into are well chosen and Pitt does a better than Pitt job to make the character live for the audience.

In the end, I will say that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a well made movie. It’s quite the ride through the life of this alluring old man. The film draws the inevitable comparisons with the similar style of Forrest Gump andBenjamin Button does have that Forrest Gump feel to it.Gump could arguably be the crowning glory of Tom Hanks‘ career. Benjamin Button has the potential, especially now with the Oscar nominations and other awards, to have the same effect on Brad Pitt and his career path. Benjamin Button is certainly one of the best movies of the year and definitely a nice feather in the cap for Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, director David Fincher, and even Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. Yep, the baby near the end of the movie, not the Benjamin Button baby, is Shiloh. I’m not really sure what that means.

* As for the movie poster, I think they are well done. I am especially drawn to the one that has Pitt as the single face and the lettering on the poster is reversed. All of the versions of the posters I have seen so far are headshot oriented.