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
The character of Daisy was named Hildegarde Moncrief in F. Scott Fitzgerald's original short story. The name change is likely a nod to the female lead in Fitzgerald's best-known work, "The Great Gatsby". See more »
The film seems to ignore the prohibition of alcohol from 1920-1932. It was only after prohibition that bourbon was widely available; prior to giving world-wide distribution of rye whiskey to Canada, when whiskey cocktails were made it was normally with the rye whiskey made by US distilleries. The original "Sazerac" was created in New Orleans in 1859 and named by John Stiller who owned the Sazerac Coffee House. See more »
F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' has been transformed into a splendid film by David Fincher. A marvelously made film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is one of the best movies of 2008. The cast is terrific and director David Fincher beautifully puts together the tale of Benjamin's life. The only large flaw many will find is that the concept of the film's premise seems too unrealistic.
The film tells the life of Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt). Born as an old man, Benjamin ages backwards; gradually getting younger as those around him age normally. Benjamin is abandoned at birth and picked up at an old-age home. As a child - or rather as a hunched over 80 year old - he meets a girl named Daisy (Cate Blanchett). Together they engage in innocent child games, and through this they develop a special connection. As Benjamin goes off into the world, Daisy continues to grow up, later pursuing her dream of dancing. Benjamin joins a crew and sails round the world, ending up in Russia. Then, after Pearl Harbor, Benjamin joins in the war effort, following battles across the north Pacific and only engaging in one combat situation.
Returning to New Orleans, Benjamin has grown taller, lost many of his wrinkles, and grown more hair. The visual effects are spectacular in following Brad Pitt through the various stages of his life. From an old man to a young teen, Benjamin always resembles Pitt. Upon arrival in his childhood home, Benjamin learns that many of the tenants he knew have passed on. This is the tragedy of aging backwards, those you knew continue to age forward as they exit this world while you do the opposite. Benjamin also meets Daisy again, who after many years has become a successful dancer and has blossomed into a beautiful young woman. Long gone is the innocence of childhood, and Daisy has become intimate with many men in New York City. Missing by an inch, she and Benjamin do not initiate a relationship until later in the film.
Narrated from the present, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button starts with Daisy's daughter reading Benjamin's diary to her mother in a hospital on the cusp of Hurricane Katrina. This allows the narration to occasionally halt for an elderly Daisy to comment on events of her life. A key motif running throughout this film is time. Beginning and ending with sequences about the same clock, David Fincher seems to allude to the notion that things fade, and that we must hold on to the things we love in the time we have with them.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a fantastic film. Beautifully created, David Fincher paints an image of the south of the United States in the early 1900s which seems both realistic and fantastical. The film also illustrates war, travel, death, and many of the other events of life. Brad Pitt shows emotional depth as Benjamin, and Cate Blanchett is terrific as Daisy. It is surprising how much we can take away from a 166 minute movie, the audience feels as if they have known Benjamin and Daisy for all of their lives. While some may question the premise of the film, arguing that time is linear and that the plot is therefore incoherent, there can be no arguing that this film does its best to develop human relationships and to establish emotional connections between characters. As Roger Ebert once said, "A film is not about its subject; it's about how it's about its subject", and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button certainly handles its subject material splendidly.
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