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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button movie poster

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Rated: PG-13
Directed by:
David Fincher
Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Tilda Swinton, Julia Ormond
Released by: Warner Bros. Pictures

In Short: The odd story of a man who is born old and gets younger as his life progresses is a wonder to behold.
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Everything Old is New Again
Living Life Backwards

With The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, director David Fincher does a complete about-face from the sort of filmmaking we've come to expect from him, with extraordinary results. Helming extremely modern movies like Se7en and Fight Club early in his career (both of which starred Brad Pitt), then following with Panic Room and Zodiac, Fincher has never indicated that he had either the inclination or the talent to tackle an epic drama.

But this is exactly what The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is—a fantastical combination of the odd story of a man who is born old and gets younger as his life progresses, which is set against the backdrop of major events in the 20th century. Beginning in New Orleans during the First World War and culminating with Hurricane Katrina, the film is based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fincher's vision of Benjamin's life is a fascinating journey, as his hero Benjamin—played by Brad Pitt—makes his way through adolescence as a wizened old man who eventually becomes a teenager as he enters middle age.

Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Taraji P. Henson and Peter Donald Badalamenti II in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Accepting the "curious" conceit of the film is easy under Fincher's masterful direction, and is made even easier by the fine acting by everyone involved. Cate Blanchett is luminous as Daisy, Benjamin’s lifelong love, and Taraji P. Henson gives a wonderful performance as the compassionate woman who embraces the orphaned baby Benjamin as her son.

With a running time that is close to three hours, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is definitely an epic, one that ponders many of the mysteries and challenges that life presents to us all. The film has already garnered many much-deserved awards and nominations, and is sure to be honored with more come Oscar time.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters

PKR112108 (Updated: 12/24/08 KR)

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