Last night I got a chance to see a screening for the new film coming out Christmas Day, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. If you’ve seen the previews, it’s the peculiar film with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett where Pitt plays Benjamin Button, a person who ages “backwards.” He was born old and wrinkled, and “grew” younger each day of his life.
The film was truly remarkable. It started with a very “Forest Gump” feel, with plenty of humor and heart. Unique creative storytelling… like nothing I’ve ever seen. Then it transitioned into a romance much like “The Notebook.”
I really enjoyed the film, and I can see why it’s getting so much Oscar buzz. Pitt was amazing. But Pitt is always amazing. Don’t discount his talent because of his pretty boy appearance or his reputation in the tabloids. Pitt has proven himself over the years with a range of roles and accents (think of the range from Kalifornia to 12 Monkeys, Meet Joe Black, Snatch, etc.).
Blanchett was equally good. It took me over half an hour to recognize her under the makeup of an elderly woman- the makeup and special effects in this film were mesmerizing. (You’ve seen films where you could tell that someone young was playing someone old. Not in this film.)
So, was it one of my favorites of 2008? No. It was a little long, and slow at parts. And I have nothing against long films. Several of my favorite films of all time are over three hours long (i’ll share those in my podcast tomorrow). This film was 2 hours and forty five minutes. In its defense, I didn’t look at my watch once until an hour and forty minutes. After a 10 minute lull, it had my interest back for another 35 minutes and I looked at my watch again.
It was good… just not the best of 2008. I’ll be sharing my top films of 2008 in our podcast coming out tomorrow on our podcast page.
It’s not for kids. Sensual at times (like The Notebook), and very much reflecting the world’s values and philosophies.
I’ll be giving my complete take on the film on our movie review page the day before its release Christmas Day.