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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

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Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

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(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
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952 ( 582)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 77 wins & 155 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dorothy Baker (as Faune Chambers)
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Martin Gateau (as Jacob Wood)
Earl Maddox ...
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Priest Giving Last Rites
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Doctor at Benjamin's Birth
Johanna Roxanne ...
Caroline Button (as Joeanna Sayler)
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Tizzy (as Mahershalalhashbaz Ali)
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Storyline

On the day that Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, elderly Daisy Williams (nee Fuller) is on her deathbed in a New Orleans hospital. At her side is her adult daughter, Caroline. Daisy asks Caroline to read to her aloud the diary of Daisy's lifelong friend, Benjamin Button. Benjamin's diary recounts his entire extraordinary life, the primary unusual aspect of which was his aging backwards, being diagnosed with several aging diseases at birth and thus given little chance of survival, but who does survive and gets younger with time. Abandoned by his biological father, Thomas Button, after Benjamin's biological mother died in childbirth, Benjamin was raised by Queenie, a black woman and caregiver at a seniors home. Daisy's grandmother was a resident at that home, which is where she first met Benjamin. Although separated through the years, Daisy and Benjamin remain in contact throughout their lives, reconnecting in their forties when in age they finally match up. Some of the revelations ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life can only be understood backward. It must be lived forward. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief war violence, sexual content, language and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

25 December 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Benjamin Button  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,853,816 (USA) (26 December 2008)

Gross:

$127,490,802 (USA) (17 April 2009)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot using Viper Thomson digital cameras, also used in David Fincher's previous movie, Zodiac (2007). However, the close-ups and the hospital scenes were shot in the Sony F-23 cameras, as Fincher noted that the fan built inside the Viper cameras create too much noise that interferes with the dialog. See more »

Goofs

Oti is referred to as a pygmy and refers to madjembe (a pygmy word for intestinal worms) which places him as a native of The Congo or Central African Republic. However, he tells Benjamin that his country has been divided by the English and Dutch. The [now: Democratic Republic of] Congo and Central African Republic were only colonized by Belgium and France respectively, while Great Britain and The Netherlands colonized South Africa. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Daisy: What are you looking at, Caroline?
Caroline: The wind, mom.
[yawns]
Caroline: They say the hurricane is coming.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 30 Rock: Apollo, Apollo (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Elite Syncopations
Written & Performed by Scott Joplin
Courtesy of Shout! Factory
By special arrangement with Natural Energy Lab
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It's a Wonderful Life
21 December 2008 | by (Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

Before seeing The Curious Case of Benjamin Button I wondered how I would react to the story of a man who is born old and gets younger as he grows up. Of all of the stories I have come across, this is by far the most bizarre and intriguing. If i had to pick someone to bring this story to the screen I do no think David Fincher would have been my first choice.

How wrong I would have been. This film is by far one of the best if not the best of 2008. Fincher's direction is flawless! The film from start to finish does not let up. There are moments of joy and ecstasy followed by sorrow and understanding. Brad Pitt stars as Benjamin, a boy born an old man who must live his life in reverse. His friend from childhood, Daisy, is played by Cate Blanchett. The story is narrated from Benjamin's point of view with some particular highlights from Daisy.

The cast does nothing wrong. Pitt leads with Blanchett and a strong performance from Taraji P. Henson as Benjamin's surrogate mother Queenie, the only person in the world who seems to understand and truly love him from the start. Other cameos along the way bring a large array of characters, including Tilda Swinton, one of Benjamin's early love interests.

The film spans from the end of World War I to the the arrival of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The transitions from life stage to life stage and decade to decade are seamless. Fincher does a tremendous job at maintaining a steady flow of action and dialogue. There is not a dull moment in the film. The cinematography is superb and couples nicely with Fincher's style of accentuating certain colors to enhance a mood or moment.

There really is nothing wrong with this film. Even with a runtime of about 160 minutes, time just flies by, much like it does for Benjamin, only we are going forward. This is a tender and meaningful film you do not want to wish.


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