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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Movie Poster

Year: 2008
Director: David Fincher

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Download

Cast:

Cate Blanchett (Daisy), Julia Ormond (Caroline), Faune A. Chambers (Dorothy Baker (as Faune Chambers)), Elias Koteas (Monsieur Gateau), Donna DuPlantier (Blanche Devereux), Jacob Tolano (Martin Gateau (as Jacob Wood)), Earl Maddox (Man at Train Station), Ed Metzger (Teddy Roosevelt), Jason Flemyng (Thomas Button), Danny Vinson (Priest Giving Last Rites), David Jensen (Doctor at Benjamin's Birth), Joeanna Sayler (Caroline Button), Taraji P. Henson (Queenie), Mahershalalhashbaz Ali (Tizzy), Fiona Hale (Mrs. Hollister), Patrick Thomas O'Brien (Dr. Rose), Marion Zinser (Mrs. Horton), Peter Donald Badalamenti II (Benjamin 1928-31 (as Peter Badalamenti)), Danny Nelson (General Winston), Paula Gray (Sybil Wagner)

Storyline:

On the day that Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, elderly Daisy Williams nee Fuller is on her deathbed in a New Orleans hospital. At her side is her adult daughter, Caroline. Daisy asks Caroline to read to her aloud the diary of Daisy's lifelong friend, Benjamin Button. Benjamin's diary recounts his entire extraordinary life, the primary unusual aspect of which was his aging backwards, being born an old man who was diagnosed with several aged diseases at birth and thus given little chance of survival, but who does survive and gets younger with time. Abandoned by his biological father, Thomas Button, after Benjamin's biological mother died in childbirth, Benjamin was raised by Queenie, a black woman and caregiver at a seniors home. Daisy's grandmother was a resident at that home, which is where she first met Benjamin. Although separated through the years, Daisy and Benjamin remain in contact throughout their lives, reconnecting in their forties when in age they finally match up. Some of the revelations in Benjamin's diary are difficult for Caroline to read, especially as it relates to the time past this reconnection between Benjamin and Daisy, when Daisy gets older and Benjamin grows younger into his childhood years.

Reviews:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a film unlike any I've ever seen and probably ever will. A true epic that left me utterly speechless. It accomplished so much through such simplicity. Everything was top notch from the elegant directing to the subtly wonderful performances down to the magical score. The film demands you to feel not only for the death we witness, but for the incredible life we discover. It prays on the obvious morality issues we all deal with but also dangles the idea in front of us that everyone goes through the same joys and grievances, just not in the same way. This is a momentous tale that deserves nothing less than the title of brilliance.

This visually and emotionally rich movie recalls the life of a very peculiar man born in the early 20th century who ages backwards. His tale unfolds through a diary read by the daughter of his love, Daisy. Throughout life he goes through the same things we do, growing up and eventually growing old. He's a thoughtful observer, discovering life from all different angles. But it is not his life that makes him unique. His love is what makes him special. He spends a lifetime trying to understand how his love for Daisy works and still only gets a few incredible years really loving her. As their lives tell us, the years of frustration and hardship are all worth it if only for a few moments of happiness.

The direction in the film is almost flawless. Hopefully, Benjamin Button will garner David Fincher the recognition he deserves. He winds this clock so well and with such grace that the movie has this undeniable flow that is enjoyable from start to finish. At nearly 3 hours, there is not a minute wasted. Every shot is jaw dropping and while some will find issue with the time, it is used wisely.

The acting is also a thing of wonder. This is by far Brad Pitt's best performance. He is so believable and realistic throughout. His nuances are spot on and despite the heavy use of make-up and CGI used to portray his character, it is Pitt who makes Benjamin that much more curious.

I left the theater astonished that some one could review this movie badly. It is an extremely graceful depiction of life, love, and the things we lose. After so much anticipation I was certainly not disappointed. This movie is probably not for everyone though. It's not your average drama that spoon feeds it's audience their emotions. It is something of awe and astonishment, an absolute gem. What makes our lives memorable are the moments we never seem to grasp long enough before letting go. Life in itself is indeed very, very curious and Benjamin Button is no less of a wonder.

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Possibly the most anticipated winter film of 2008, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a curious film indeed. It's got an intriguing and completely absorbing story, as well as my favorite director, David Fincher, on the top of his game. With "Button", Fincher cements his place as one of the best directors alive, as his film is nothing short of magical, mesmerizing, riveting, ground breaking, and ultimately, timeless.

When I first heard about this movie, I had to wonder...how was Fincher, the guy responsible for realistic, gripping, crime thrillers like Seven and Zodiac going to pull off the fantasy film of a lifetime? Armed with a massive budget, Fincher uses everything a director can use to craft the most charming and technically brilliant film of the year. It's a film to be cherished for ages.

"Button" has struck me like this because a recurring theme in the film is that age is only a number, and that we as people can choose what we do with our lives, no matter what our age is. What better way to tell this message than through a story where the titular character ages backwards, and must experience life in such a way? How does one fall in love when he could one day appear young enough to be his spouse's child? How does a 5 year old play with the neighborhood children when he's confined to a wheelchair stricken with old age? Fincher's epic explores our choices, lives, and the timelessness of life itself.

Brad Pitt plays the title role of Benjamin Button with a certain air of likability like he always does. While I felt he did a good job with the part, he didn't have to do much...Benjamin, fittingly, is a rather quiet character (I'd be willing to bet he narrates more than he actually talks in the film). In terms of acting, the film belongs to the ladies, Cate Blanchett and Taraji P. Henson in particular. Though Blanchett may seem overrated to some, there's no denying her unrivaled talent at playing a character as complex and deep as Daisy, and she pulls it off with ease and charisma. Taraji P. Henson will warm your heart as Benjamin's mother, as she's humorous, warm, and loving, so loving that I felt as if she was my mother.

The main complexity behind the film, especially with a director like David Fincher, is keeping the film grounded in reality, while maintaining the undeniable magic within. As a director, you don't want to lose too much of either quality, instead keeping a healthy balance of the two. I feel that Fincher accomplished this perfectly. He is mainly helped out by a magical score, and absolutely stunning cinematography (which immediately identified it as a Fincher film, because of the darkness and lighting of it).

Despite the wonder and awe of the film, mixed with the realism that Fincher always brings, the true allure of the film is not just Benjamin's aging problem, but the romance between Benjamin and Daisy, which is beautiful. Two people in love, regardless of age, time, or place. It's one of the most compelling romances of the year.

"Button" is also the most technically well made movie of 2008, as the true standouts are the Visual Effects and the Makeup, both of which are Oscar worthy. Pitt plays the character at almost every age, but it's almost impossible to tell when the CGI is being used on him. You know it's there, obviously, but you can't tell it's being used. When the transition is just smooth enough for the Visual Effects to be retired, but just rough enough to use makeup, it's absolutely perfect. If you've ever wanted to see Brad Pitt look 20 again, look no further, as the effects that make our actors young again (the same goes for Blanchett) are just as stunning as those that make them older.

Despite a long runtime, the film never drags. If I had to point out one thing I would've liked to have seen a little more of, it would've been more of Benjamin as a little kid, as I felt that was rushed (for those who don't know what I mean, I mean the last parts of the film when he's old, but his body is young). This doesn't hurt the film in any way, as it's just my wishful thinking.

I know I've used the word 'magical' a lot in this review, and don't think it's on accident. If I could pick one word to describe David Fincher's masterpiece, that would be it: magical. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is a captivating piece of art that shouldn't be missed by anyone.

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