Week 4: Life isn’t measured in minutes, but in moments.
I managed to get free tickets to this movie for a couple of weeks ago, but I was feeling too sick to get out of bed that day (plus the screening was at 10 in the morning, so not exactly my favourite time of the day). I was gutted I couldn’t go, but I finally was able to catch this movie before the Oscars.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is (of course) about Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt), a man who is born old and is slowly aging backwards. Set in New Orleans, it tells the tale of how Benjamin deals with his extraordinary life and the people he meets.
Let’s start with the bad stuff: the plot. Almost everything comes together for this movie, except for the story, plot, screenplay, whatever you want to call it. Unexpectedly enough for a movie about a man aging backwards (which hasn’t been done before, right?), the plot seems all to familiar and nothing seems original. A couple days after watching it Cristiano showed me this video which highlighted all the similarities between The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Forest Gump (beware there are spoilers in it). No surprise, cause it turns out they’ve both got the same screenplay writer.
The story aside though, the rest of the movie looks pretty amazing (let the discussion begin: can a movie still be amazing, if the story sucks?). I loved the cinematography; there are multiple shots that are just beautiful. For me, it was worth seeing in a cinema for those shots alone (sidenote: the photo below is not one of the ‘amazing’ shots).
And then you’ve got the visual effects. I knew there would be some outstanding effects to create the whole “old” Brad Pitt and “baby” Brad Pitt etc, but there is just so much more beyond that. Take a look at the Science Behind Benjamin Button website and you’ll see just how much has been created from scratch. Unlike with other movies though a lot of the effects here are elegantly integrated into the scenes and most of the time you don’t have a feeling you’re looking at something “fake”.
The acting is great, but I’m still conflicted about Brad Pitt’s Oscar nomination. How much of the Benjamin Button character comes from his performance? It’s his facial expressions in the entire movie, but the rest of the characters body movements are delivered by several other actors. Plus it’s the work of all the visual effects artists to merge everything together. So how much of Benjamin comes from Brad?
While I did like this movie, I don’t have a feeling it will stay long in the IMDB Top 250. Give or take a couple of years (months even) and it will be replaced by something better. Still, it’s a pretty picture and it’s nice to be able to watch at least a couple of these Top 250 movies in the cinema.
Next week: In Bruges