The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a marvel of storytelling, special effects and acting, with an awesome performance from Brad Pitt as the eponymous character who is born an old man and becomes physically younger as the years pass by. The interiors and locations beautifully evoke the different eras the tale charts, from the First World War to the twenty-first century, but it's the film's moving portrayal of mortality that held me captivated.
Cate Blanchett gives a subtle performance as Benjamin's love interest, Daisy, and is as convincing in her portrayal of a dancer in her twenties as she is in old age. My girl Buzz found their relationship to be worth the admission price, and it is breathtaking to watch their physical transformations moving in opposite directions. There is strong support from Taraji P. Henson, who plays Benjamin's mother figure, Queenie, and from Tilda Swinton, whom Benjamin meets during one of his port adventures while he's working on a tug boat.
To see more stills from the film, and find out my star rating, just read more.
Brad Pitt has spoken about the effect the film had on his outlook on life:
"I was reminded that time is short, and you want to have that time be of personal value. Am I halfway, over halfway [through life]? Do I have a couple of years left? Or am I going to get hit by a car when I walk out of here? I don't know. So I want to make sure that I am not wasting that time."
Although the film is fully deserving of its mammoth thirteen Oscar nominations, it isn't quite the perfect article. For a movie loosely based on a short story (by F. Scott Fitzgerald), it is surprisingly long with a running time of two and three quarter hours. Parts of the story do drag, and it could have benefited from more cuts in the editing suite. Having said that, though, I still found myself leaving the cinema feeling like I'd experienced an epic, and would definitely recommend it as a must see film of the year. Check out the trailer and give it a try.