The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Out Now On-Demand

This F. Scott Fitzgerald novella adaptation is the story of Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt), born a feeble old man who ages backwards, eventually dying as a baby. Naturally enough, this leads to issues - romance and maturity are OK in the middle years when his physical and mental age meet, but bigger problems arise at either end of the age spectrum. Fitzgerald remarked, "this story was inspired by a remark of Mark Twain’s to the effect that it was a pity that the best part of life came at the beginning and the worst part at the end".

Directed by David Fincher (who reached a new high with last year's Zodiac), adapted for the screen by Eric Roth (The Insider, Forrest Gump).

Trailers

Awards

Best Art Direction, Make Up and Visual Effects - Academy Awards 2009.

Directed by

Written by

  • Eric Roth
  • (based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald)

Drama

159mins

Rating: M contains offensive language & sexual references

USA

Official Site

flicks

The problem with visionary directors like David Fincher is that sometimes, perhaps, we expect a little too much. This fantastical tale, the reunion of the Seven/Fight Club director with Tyler Durden himself, Brad Pitt, has been looking like a potential masterpiece for months. As it turns out it’s not perfect, it’s just very, very good. And that’s ever so slightly disappointing.

Benjamin Button has so much going for it though. There’s beautiful earthen-hued cinematography throughout. There’s a convincing, controlled performance from Pitt, natural enough to stop you obsessing over the amazing ageing effects once the initial novelty has worn off. There’s a story which, while it has little to do with its Fitzgerald source material (except for the basic premise), does throw in a little bit of excitement for all tastes, with moments of self-discovery, high adventure, humour and romance.

But on the downside, the story unfolds in such an unhurried, best-part-of-three-hours way that it sometimes drags, with the love story between Button and Cate Blanchett’s Daisy proving both the heart of the film, and its least interesting element – the early womanizing and wartime scenes are much more fun. Add in a distracting, unnecessary modern day Hurricane Katrina side-theme and there are undoubtedly a few blemishes here.

So what sounded like it could be one of Fincher’s strangest films, in fact comes out as one of his most accessible – a less madcap, more grandiose Big Fish. It may have a crinkly bub gradually morphing into a teenager in it, but essentially it’s a star-crossed love story with philosophical accoutrements. Go into this expecting a feast of offbeat originality, or thrills and spills throughout and you’ll feel a bit let down. But expect elegance, tenderness and stunning visuals and you’ll be repaid warmly.

FilmThreat.com [USA]

press

Benjamin Button is pretty much just "Gump" with better cinematography.

Hollywood Reporter

press

Superbly made and winningly acted by Brad Pitt in his most impressive outing to date.

Los Angeles Times

press

As enervating as it is long -- and at 2 hours and 47 minutes it is quite long -- this version of the F. Scott Fitzgerald fantasy short story is a baffling project, an endurance test of a movie that feels like it was made on a dare.

NZ Herald [Francesca Rudkin]

press

The outcome may be inevitable from the start, but the emotional punch it delivers captures you by surprise, confirming that this eclectic and overly long journey was worth the watch.

Premiere [USA]

press

Naturally, Pitt and Blanchett are outstanding. Fincher's meticulous attention to detail is unerring, down to the light fixtures.

Stuff.co.nz

press

Underpinning it all is a meditation on the double-edged nature of time and the spiralling twists a life takes en route to its end. Time is brutal, the film is saying. Fitzgerald was right about that. Yet there can be moments that defeat time by enduring as long as they remain in someone's memory.

The Press [Margaret Agnew]

press

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is perfect escapism for these uncertain times, to remind us to make the most of the life we're given. It's also proof that mainstream Hollywood can still break out in imaginative, unexpected, oddly satisfying ways.

TV3 [Kate Rodger]

press

A curious, compelling little love story, and one I urge you not to miss.

Urban Cinefile [Australia]

press

Somewhat bloated and relying on its novelty value, the screenplay lumbers when it should be sprightly, and its rare moments of humour are limited to a running gag about an old man being struck by lightning - seven times. My disappointment with the film is made the more severe by the fact that it strikes so many emotional truths about humanity . . . and is so well made.

Variety [USA]

press

This odd, epic tale of a man who ages backwards is presented in an impeccable classical manner, every detail tended to with fastidious devotion.

Fails to be Forrest Gump, fails to be interesting

Brad Pitt pointlessly grows backwards. It's trying to be 'Forrest Gump' but doesn't have any story to tell, just randomly selected, disconnected meaningless vignettes. Ponderous, boring and it goes on FOREVER. Perhaps it was all the makeup that restricted his facial expressions, but Brad Pitt's acting was as wooden as a kitchen table. Sleep inducing.

Gripping

user


Gripping

this movie is like nothing that I have ever seen before. It really talks to the heart(ok ok ok ok it sounds crazy and really chessey but it is true). Its perfact. This is one of my favourite Brad Pitt movies and Cate Blanchett was amazing as allways

Review

user


Review

I think The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button is an amazing and powerful movie! However it was a very sad movie, but it was one of the best movies i have ever seen. I give the movie infinity stars! I LOVE YOU BRAD PITT!!!!!

...MeAn BUTTON MeAn...

user


...MeAn BUTTON MeAn...

I think it was really awesome and interesting. It had a great story line and I think the actors were spot on. I can at least say it was way BETTER!!! than twilight. Big props to the director, how many of us can say we actually got to see a different unfamiliar movie like this. Which HEY Brad Pitt was lead... "TooDleS"

its good movie

user


its good movie

but is very personal, the only way you will understand this is watching it.

It may send you on journey of reflections about you own life, or it might just bore you do death if you´re not in the mood...

Yawn....

user


Yawn....

OH MY SWEET JESEUS!!!!! I feel for the first time in my life that I have truly wasted my time. I was very aware that I was in a dark room with a hundred strangers, well I suppose better that than having to listen to this tripe. Worst piece of crap I’ve seen since my last bad bout of food poisoning.

Basically, a troll gets younger as each year goes by and believe me, that takes just as long as it sounds. Go see it if you want to see and old man pervert a small child, get on a small boat, live in a small cold country while steadily getting less and less wrinkled. I could see the same thing after getting out of long bath.

The only light relief was an old man who was continuously struck by lightning, this however was also mercilessly stabbed to death by the time it was shown for the 3rd of 7 times. This "film" was void of any interest, emotion, acting ability, engagement and every other aspect that could make any motion picture watchable.

To compare it to other movies would be wrong. I prefer to compare it to having my fingernails slowly pulled out while having a fat man sit on my face, at least that’s what Brad Pitt must have been threatened with to accept this role which he carried off without a hint of enthusiasm or display that he had ever acted before. Don’t go to see this movie, as Benjamin gets younger and younger, you must endure this lifeless tale while you only get older and older.

COMPLETE AND UTTER BOLLOCKS - AVOID!

user


COMPLETE AND UTTER BOLLOCKS - AVOID!

OMG this film is total, complete and utter bollocks. People were walking out! Maybe would've been OK if it were 1.5 hours shorter. Cate Blanchetts voice as an old lady is one of the most annoying sounds you will ever hear in your life. The movie just goes on and on. By the midway point you actually start looking forward to them dying. By the end you're cheering!

disappointing to say the least

user


disappointing to say the least

I went in excited to watch this movie but halfway through it got quite boring and to be honest very unbelieveable..I like to go in and feel engrossed in the movie especially when you are paying so much for a movie and popcorn...this movie was not one of them i came out feeling like i had wasted my money and may as well of waited until it came out on video and when i say video i mean $3 weekly :(

Overly long

user


Overly long

Oh dear, numb bum syndrome set in after two hours and it was difficult to concentrate despite the beatifully crafted sets and detailed cinematography or the acting skills of the principle actors -Tilda Swinton was the standout for me. This story could have had more light relief and at least half an hour shaved off which would have given it some pace.However still an original idea for Hollywood and for that top marks.

Brian1

Brian

user


Entertaining enough

Though if you think about it, rather ridiculous.

Clearly, very popular. Great acting, great effects.