The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Review

30 Dec

Poster

Poster

On Christmas Day mom, dad and I decided to go to see a movie. There were three movies that we were contemplating going to; Doubt, The Spirit and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Since the three of us are bad at making decisions, we decided to flip a coin. Mom was flipping and she wanted to see Doubt, so we first flipped between Spirit and TCCoBB eliminating The Spirit, which may have been a blessing in disguise since the reviews have gone downhill. RottenTomoatoes.com has it at only 16% (ouch). Obviously in the final flip Doubt was eliminated. NOTE: The Wikipedia links give away the WHOLE movie. BIG spoilers! I will not spoil anything past the break in this post.

We went to an afternoon showing at the Altamonte AMC theater. As you know from the commercials, TCCoBB is a bout a man who is “born old” and actually ages backwards. Becoming younger as the years go by. What you may not know, and I didn’t, is that this movie is based on a short story. The movie is actually told in a narrative and starts in a New Orleans hospital with an old woman on her deathbed. She gets her daughter to read from an old diary while you see a storm approaching New Orleans. The old woman turns out to be the love interest in the diary. The “present” time (when the woman is on her deathbed) is set in August of 2005.

The diary goes all the way back to November of 1918. Before the diary, the elderly women tells a “preface” of a blind clock maker who loses his son in WWI and makes a grand clock for the train station. When the clock is started it ran backwards and the clock maker says that he did it on purpose hoping to bring back the young boys they had lost. The diary starts and we find that it is the story, from birth, of one Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt).

Benjamin was born in New Orleans during the celebration of the end of WWI. Unfortunately, his mother dies from the birth and his father flips out when he sees him. He immediately takes his son and runs out of the house and through the streets eventually leaving the child on the steps of a nursing home with $18. Queenie (Taraji P. Henson) and Tizzy (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali) find the child and Queenie, who we learn is unable to conceive, takes the child as her own. The doctor tells Queenie that the child has all the health problems of an 80 year old and will probably die soon.

As Benjamin grows up in the nursing home he is right at home with the other old people and watches as they come and go. We also watch as Benjamin grows taller and younger. Eventually being able to walk. While still a child he meets Daisy (Cate Blanchett) who we eventually learn is the woman on her deathbed in the current time.

Benjamin falls in love with Daisy as they grow but it takes years and many near misses before they both accept their love and come together. Their is always the tension of what will happen to Benjamin as he grows old and his wish not to be a burden on the love of his life.

I will not give away the end of the movie, nor any of the twists as it wasn’t exactly what I expected. It was much better.

The movie is excellent in every aspect I can think of, but it is VERY emotional. If you don’t tear up at least once during this movie, you don’t have a heart, sorry. There are some really great comic relief moments placed perfectly. The acting is superb and I really believed what was going on.

Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett really show off their acting abilities and carry this movie as they live, love and suffer loss.

I give this movie 4.75 out of 5 stars and recommend that you go catch this movie!

Funniest part of the movie: One of those “comic relief” moments is a series of lines from one of the old men at the nursing home. He tells Benjamin multiple times “Have I ever told you that I was struck by lightning seven times? Once I was walking my dog” and then the movie cuts to an old movie style shot of a man walking his dog and getting struck by lightning. I’m not sure if he actually tells us seven different ways, but I can count at least 5.

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2 Responses to “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Review”

  1. infijess December 30, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    Sounds good but still not on my list of movies.

    Think it will be nominated?

    I’m desperately waiting to have time to see Tale of Despereaux!

  2. coffee January 18, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    i was pleasantly surprised to find out that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the short story upon which Benjamin Button (the movie) was based, they mention this in the opening credits

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