Director: David Fincher

Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett

Year: 2008

You could say that the most amazing thing about Benjamin Button is Benjamin himself, the incredible boy who aged backward and the versatile actor who played him.  Or you could say that the visuals stole the show, Benjamin’s aging, the way time slipped beautifully by, how Daisy passed going the other way.  But what strikes me most, looking back at the movie, is the unbelievable cast & crew who came together to make it.  I’ll look at their filmographies more in depth later, but my god; Fincher, Pitt, Blanchett, the rest of the cast, the genius screenwriter who you’ve never heard of.  This much talent in one place is almost unheard of, except in Oscar-winning epics and ground-breaking dramas, both of which could describe this film, which, oh yeah, was nominated for 13 Academy Awards.

Benjamin was born under unusual circumstances, which led to him having a rather unusual life, but one filled with enough adventure, love, and memory to fill multiple lifetimes.  Unwanted as a baby, Benjamin was left on the doorstep on a home for the elderly, which turned out to work in his favor, since he was born as an old man who began to age backward over the coming years.  His mother, Queenie, ran the home and encouraged Benjamin to follow his dreams, telling him that he might be an unusual boy but that only meant that his future had a chance to be extraordinary.  He would become a sailor, a soldier, a world traveler, and a romantic, falling in love with the girl he had always known from his native New Orleans, the lovely Daisy.  She was a dancer and a beautiful woman, but while Benjamin grew younger, she grew older, and as they passed each other like ships in the fog they understood that their fates might never intertwine.

OK, let’s dive in.  Before we get to the movie itself, we need to look at this team, because it’s phenomenal.  Fincher the director, sandwiching the film between Zodiac and Social Network.  Pitt, the god, Blanchett, the goddess, and how they ever got the two of them in the same room without the fabric of reality ripping I’ll never know.  The rest of the cast is wild: Taraji P. Henson, Mahershala Ali, Elias Koteas, Jason Flemyng, Elle Fanning, Tilda Swinton.  And lastly, Eric Roth, the writer, who has one hell of a resume: Forest Gump, The Postman, The Horse Whisperer, The Insider, Ali, Munich, The Good Shepard, Benjamin Button, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.  He also wrote the upcoming A Star is Born, which is the front runner for Best Picture.  Wow, that’s some cast and crew.  Benjamin Button really does remind me of Forest Gump, or Big Fish, that style of magical drama that spans a long period of time and comes laden with emotion and meaning.  The cinematography is lovely, the mood is magical, the characters are great, and this story will stick with you long after you’re done watching.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆



By ochippie

Writer, Critic, Dad Columbus, Ohio, USA Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals Colorado Avalanche, Duke Blue Devils