james debate
james debate

Monday 2 February 2009

Directed by David Fincher
Written by Eric Roth (screenplay), F. Scott Fitzgerald (novel)
Starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett
Release date(s) 25th December 2008
Running time 166 minutes

brad pitt benjamin button

Whilst I saw this film a while ago now, I never got around to reviewing it. However, in light of the fact that it has achieved an impressive number of thirteen oscar nominations, and seems to be a big front runner in the best movie category, I figure I should finally get off my ass and do this.

If you think that this lack of desire to write this article is an indication of my feelings towards the quality of the film, you're wrong. It's not my favorite film this year but it is very good.

The film is based off a short story by the legendary F. Scott Fitzgerald, and concerns the eponymous Benjamin Button, a person who is born as an eighty year old man and ages backwards throughout his life.

But the film is so much more than that. It bristles with intrigue and sighs with emotional paradoxes that many films would shy away from. It all cultivates a lavish period piece covering child rearing, undergraduate behavior and courtship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

If it sounds a bit unusual, it is, but Fincher has brought it all together here into a fantastic piece of cinema, a rich and satisfying example of storytelling at its finest.

The main acting performances here are equally impressive, particularly Brad Pitt giving perhaps his finest ever performance in this film as Button. If anyone still has any reservations about whether this boy can act, this movie should put that to rest, he is magnificent and nuanced and should consider himself one of the front runners for the best actor award.

If there is anything that can be said against this movie is that most of the emotional twists and turns can be seen coming from a mile away, and ends up feeling like a fairly by the numbers affair, not quite living up to the level of uniqueness one might expect from the premise and setting.

A very fine piece of cinema. Frankly it wouldn't be my pick for the best movie oscar, but seems highly likely to win it anyway.

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