The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

We saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button yesterday, the film that got 13 Oscar nominations.

It’s the tale of a man who begins his life as a senior and, living his life in reverse, slowly becomes younger.

It’s a fairy-tale, a love-story, a film about time and mortality. It’s melancholy, with wonderful images and it differs considerably from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s orginal which you can read here.

I liked the old-age-part, the first half of the film best, when Benjamin Button discovers himself in an old people’s home in New Orleans in the 1920s, growing up with residents from all walks of life, talented ones, difficult ones, funny ones, talking with them, learning from them, and finally taking up a job on a ship.

The second parts centres around the love story and the small window of time the couple will have together. Inevitably, she will become older as he becomes younger by the day. The clock is ticking, and it doesn’t matter if death meets us in old age or, as in Benjamin’s case, in physically young age with all the symptoms of an old man.

There were two strong, and contradictory, messages in „Benjamin Button“:

a) nothing lasts forever
b) it’s never too late.

The second can be seen in Benjamin Button’s writings to his daughter: “I hope you’re proud of who you’ve become, and if not, I hope you have the strength to start all over.”
This is also expressed in Elizabeth’s (that’s the woman Benjamin has a short affair with, played by Tilda Swinton) repeated efforts to cross the British Channel by swimming, and finally suceeding, at age 68.

Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt were great, but I thought Tilda Swinton was just marvelous!

The special effects for the rejuvenating of Brad Pitt were amazing.

Here’s the trailer (but it isn’t very good, just to get a glimpse..)


Lydia said...

It's playing here right now until Wednesday night (at Stu's theater!). I hope Mike can get off early enough to see it after work. I didn't know this was an F. Scott Fitzgerald work!

"Nothing lasts forever" seems a more rational thought than "it's never too late."

francessa said...

I think so, too, about the "nothing lasts forever", but the "it's never too late" makes for more energy, for more confidence to try out things one always wanted to do.

rapidqueen.com said...

There appeared lots of good films and this one deserves to be among of them. Unfortunately I didn't have an opportunity to watch it at the cinema, but still managed to find in the Internet (using rapidshare search engine ) - not the best film I've ever seen, but one that is pleasant to watch.

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