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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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703 ( 23)
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

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:

AUD 3,330,954 (Australia) (28 December 2008)

Gross:

$127,509,326 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.40 : 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

There are several shots of Daisy dancing. The execution of the ballet, however, is very modern and athletic, with long extensions and high arabesques. It was not appropriate for the time period, when ballet had a very different style. 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 The Curious Birth of Benjamin Button (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Spinning Wheel
Written by Billy Hill
Performed by Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Courtesy of Preservation Hall Recordings
By Arrangement with North Star Media
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
As Time Goes By
6 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I found this to be an interesting film; certainly not boring as I had heard from a few people who saw it in the theater. To me, it was simply good storytelling.

Yes, it's slow, especially by today's movie standards, but it's certainly a unique story and it's nicely filmed, acted and directed. Story-wise, it's one of those films I understand if people love it or hate it. I'm somewhat in the middle and leaning toward the positive.

For a movie that runs for over 2 hours and 40 minutes and is not some suspense or action film, it has to be pretty good to hold one's interest. I can only speak for myself; it held my interest for 95 percent of it.

I think the first two-thirds of the movie is the best. Brad Pitt as "Benjamin Button" is pretty fascinating, as is the story of him growing up from a wrinkled, old man-baby to a mid-40s guy. When he re-unites with childhood friend "Daisy" (Cate Blanchett) and becomes her lover, the film bogs down in a few spots but few people are going to stop watching after investing two hours. It picks up again, especially in the last minutes when "Benjamin" begins to finally become younger than an adult.

There's a sadness to this story, especially near the end but overall, even though it's central theme seems to be "death," I don't think it's a depressing film. It does remind us, in a big way, that the longer we're around, the more death of friends and loved ones we witness. That's just a sad fact of life. I hear about it all time with my father, who is 91 years old and has seen almost all of his friends die.

It's especially true in this story when Benjamin starts off and has a lot of old friends to begin with! "Benjamin" was an odd person to me; you could root for him, yet not admire him. He often treated people only to satisfy his desires and could have been so much more. Yet, being "a fly on the wall" and observing his interesting life, was memorable, making this a film worthy of the time invested to watch it.

In the end, the movie made me appreciate the friends I do have, and not to take any of them for granted as life passes us by so fast, no matter what direction we're headed!


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