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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, Romance  |  25 December 2008 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 415,032 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 811 user | 358 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

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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Won 3 Oscars. Another 69 wins & 118 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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Donna Duplantier ...
Jacob Tolano ...
Martin Gateau (as Jacob Wood)
Earl Maddox ...
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Priest Giving Last Rites
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Doctor at Benjamin's Birth
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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:

Time is passing, even backwards. 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:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 December 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Benjamin Button  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$127,490,802 (USA) (17 April 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The look that David Fincher, visual-effects supervisor Eric Barba and special makeup-effects artist Greg Cannom devised for Benjamin as a child resemble the later stages of progeria, a condition technically named Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, a rare disease that makes its young sufferers appear aged. Those who didn't attend medical school may be most familiar with it from the Ralph Macchio TV movie The Three Wishes of Billy Grier (1984). Robin Williams had a fictional version of progeria in Jack (1996) and the Susan Sarandon character in The Hunger (1983) is shown researching and discussing the disease. See more »

Goofs

When talking about how the tugboat has been commissioned into the US Navy the day right after Pearl Harbor (Dec 8, 1941), the captain says "We will fight the Japs and the Hun". The Hun refers to the Germans, but they didn't declare war on the US until Dec 11, 1941. However the Captain is Irish so would probably count 1939 as the start of the war not just when America joined it in 1941. 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

The end credits run as a slide show instead of the traditional upward scroll. See more »

Connections

Featured in 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

TWIST AND SHOUT
Written by Phil Medley & Bert Berns
Performed by The Beatles
Courtesy of Apple Corps Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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