The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Review - Worth The Time

“I was born under unusual circumstances”  begins the movie of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.  Based on a short story by F Scott Fitzgerald, the movie is a powerful adaptation by Eric Roth.  When you leave the movie all you can do is say “Wow!”  

Button: Benjamin and Queenie (Taraji P Henson) at revival, learning to walk

The acting, especially Brad Pitt’s character of Benjamin Button, is superb and well deserving of the awards proposed.  He plays the character from age to age throughout the movie with amazing agility and totally convincing. Of course that is in part due to the excellent make up and the costuming.  

Button: Benjamin grows younger

The story of Benjamin Button ( Brad Pitt)  is about a man who is born in his 80’s and ages backwards  According to Mark Twain, “Life would be happier if we could be born at 80 and gradually approach 18.”

Button: young Daisy (Elle Fanning)

Coming into the world on the eve of World War 1’s ending, Benjamin is a unique child with arthritis, cataracts and all the maladies we associate with old age.  Having lost his wife because of the birth, Thomas Button ( Jason Fleming) impulsively gets rid of the child by leaving him on a door step.

Button: Queenie adopts the baby

The child is noticed by Queenie ( Taraji P. Henson), a housekeeper at a senior board and care.  Despite the color barrier, Queenie adopts the baby and raises him keeping him as a normal child with normal curiosities.  Several times, because he is living in the senior home, he is taken for an old man.  Even so, he goes through the first crush and first kiss with Daisy ( Elle Fanning/Cate Blanchett) when she comes to visit her grandmother and is chided for playing tent with her –something that most kids like to play.

Button: Benjamin and Daisy (Cate Blanchett) acknowledging their love

Later his dying father reunites with Benjamin leaving him a fortune in Buttons.  

Button: Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) as he grows younger

The story is told through the eyes of Benjamin via his diary that Daisy has kept all these years.  Set with the background of an approaching Katrina, Daisy keeps urging her daughter to continue reading until Caroline ( Julia Ormond) learns that it was Benjamin who was her father and that Daisy was the love of his life.  

Button: Captain Mike (Jared Harris)

Ben’s story chronicles the life as goes on his first adventure with Captain Mike ( Jared Harris) and has his first affair with Elizabeth Abbott ( Tilda Swinton) all the while becoming younger and younger until he finally regresses back to infancy, while Daisy, now older takes care of him. Other notables in the film were Monsieur Gateau ( Elias Koteas) and Tizzy ( Mahershalhashbaz Ali.)

Button: An older Daisy and young Benjamin

Given an award by MMPA and the Diversity council, the movie, despite its length, deserves it all.  It held one’s interest from the first chord to the last sigh. While the ending is not happily ever after, it is satisfying and thoughtful.

Stunning photographic scenes were directed by DP Claudio Miranda, while Donald Graham Burt was production designer and Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall edited. Authentic costuming was done by Jacqueline West.  Mood music was by Alexandre Desplat and special effects make up, which the movie could not have done without, was Greg Cannom

Button: Daisy comes home to him

Executive Produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, it was produced by Cean Chaffin, the script was written by Eric Roth, Robin Swicord, and directed by David Fincher.

The movie debuts on December 25 and it’s a fitting, soul searching movie that the whole family should enjoy.
“It doesn’t matter if you live your life backward or forward, it’s how you live your life.”

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