Monday, 9 February 2009

Film: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Benjamin ButtonWe watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button today. This is an epic story spanning 87 years about a man who is born old and who ages backwards his whole life. The film is based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the talented man behind The Great Gatsby, a book that had a profound effect on me growing up.

I really enjoyed this film. It wasn't as uplifting as Slumdog Millionaire last week and it was quite lengthy at 166 minutes and slow moving too.

Despite that, I would say that this film is an iconic masterpiece in that I have never seen such good special effects in a film before. Brad Pitt played the role of Benjamin Button from the age of approximately 80 to about age 20. In turn, Cate Blanchett played Daisy from age 20 to about 80 too. At no point in the entire film did I look at the characters and think that they got the make up wrong; in fact, I barely noticed the make up at all. (It makes a huge difference from see the foundation lines on the vampires in Twilight!)

Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett gave fantastic performances in this film and while I am surprised that Cate did not receive an Oscar nod for her role, I don't think Brad's performance was quite worthy of his nomination. Taraji P. Henson has been nominated for her role as Queenie, Benjamin's mother and I must say, I did not really notice her performance that much and am unsure that she deserves the nomination. I was surprised to see that she was only 38 though, as she played her character over her entire adult life, as with Brad and Cate's portrayals. Perhaps she is deserving then...

But this is a beautiful film with sweeping cinematography, the costumes were spot on and the set design was fantastic. The Oscar nominations for art direction, cinematography, costume design, make up and visual effects are definitely deserving and I hope to see a win in at least the three last categories. The score has been nominated too and considering how integral the music is to the story, that could be a likely win too. I just preferred the music from Slumdog Millionaire last week.

In terms of the Oscar nomination for best film, I would rather that Slumdog Millionaire gets it. To me, it is just more of an achievement. All in all I would give the film 9 out of 10. Maybe 8.5 because once I realised that 2 hours had gone by already, I got quite restless.

Stephen and I have decided to start going to movies again every week, as it is clear how much we have missed it and how much we still enjoy it. We are going to get Unlimited Cards from Cineworld which cost £11.99 per month for unlimited, anytime movies. It's not exactly R8 or 60p a show but it'll do for now. I'm so excited at the prospect of weekly date nights again!

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3 comments

  1. I guess I'll be going to watch Benjamin Button after your recommendation.

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  2. Believe it or not, I managed to finish an e-copy of the book during one particularly long train ride. The whole story is a mere 26 pages long.

    I've not watched the movie but from what I heard, the storyline has changed quite drastically. Though the story still spanned over a couple of decades, Benjamin's wife played a really tiny role in it and grew old as a bitter woman.

    I hesitate to watch the movie as it would be like watching a totally different story altogether. Hmm, will probably wait for the DVD release.

    Oh, I've currently on Lovefilm dvd rental service now but will still catch a movie when the reviews are really great.

    Thanks for the review!!

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  3. @ Yachting Celebrities: That is great! It means my work here is done!

    @ C K: Oh yes, it's a short story, isn't it? Is it good?

    I got a Lovefilm unlimited subscription when I first moved to UK but once my husband arrived a couple of months later I found I was too busy to watch any of the DVDs. I'm trying to make time now to see more films though - my tally in 2008 was shocking.

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