The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

This is my last review to catch up, just in time for this year’s Cinequest film festival to start (well, almost—it started last night). And it was also the last of the Best Picture nominees that I needed to see before the Oscar® ceremony.

I really wasn’t looking forward to seeing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It’s long (2:46), and the reviews were only good. I’m not a big follower of David Fincher (Fight Club is the only other one of his films I’ve seen). Brad Pitt neither adds nor subtracts from my interest, though I do like Cate Blanchett. So I went mostly to keep my streak of seeing all the Best Picture nominees alive (for 14 years now).

The story is basically about the life of Benjamin Button (Pitt), who is born looking like an infant-sized very old man, and who grows younger looking over time. I won’t say anything more about the plot, as I don’t think it’s the primary point of the film in any case.

I’m glad I saw it, but I can’t say I loved it. It kept my interest even though I was tired that night, and I thought about it a bit the next day. The visual effects seemed well done in that they did not draw attention to themselves, and the makeup was very good. The performances were fine, and I thought Taraji P. Henson was a reasonable person to give a nomination to (Pitt did not seem like he deserved his, though at least he wasn’t bad). One sequence, showing the series of small events that led to a big event in the film, seemed out of place, but other than that it seemed well constructed. And I liked that Benjamin’s reverse aging was treated as unusual but not remarkable by the other characters in the film.

So overall I think I would give it 3 stars out of 4 stars.

Seen 2/18/2009.


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