August 11th, 2009

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008) **

The first movie Brad Pitt and director David Fincher made together was Seven, one of the best serial killer flicks in history.  Their next collaboration was Fight Club, one of the three greatest movies ever made.  Their third film together, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is nothing but Oscar-baiting drivel.  It’s got all the Oscar nominated movie prerequisites.  A guy overcoming an incredible handicap?  Check.  Period piece?  Check.  Gratuitous whimsical narration?  Check.  Former Academy Award winners in really bad old age make-up?  Check.  A nearly three hour running time?  Check. 

 

Academy members really eat this shit up don’t they?

 

Pitt plays the title character, a dude who is born old and gradually gets younger throughout the years.  While he’s an old looking young man, Benjamin meets a little girl named Daisy who eventually grows up to be played by Cate Blanchett.  Benjamin goes off and has various misadventures (he visits a brothel, joins the Navy, has an affair with a married swimmer, etc.) but he winds up falling in love with Daisy and when they’re both around 40, he knocks her up.  Since he’s getting younger, he decides he can’t stick around to care for the kid (deadbeat) so he high tails it to India.  In the end Benjamin comes back to Daisy, turns into a baby, and she’s forced to change his diapers until he dies of Young Age.

 

Brad Pitt may slowly get younger but it’s the movie that gets old real fast.

 

I don’t know what Fincher was thinking when he did this one.  He still must be hurting from being known as the “Alien 3 guy" and tried to do this flick to win an Oscar and finally erase that stigma.  Sorry Dave, but this one is worse than Alien 3.

 

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’s cardinal sin is that it’s way too long for its own good.  There are too many various asides (like the dude who keeps getting struck by lightning) that add nothing to the film and only tack onto the flick’s already whopping running time.  Then there’s the film’s lack of a message.  Is Fincher trying to say that time keeps moving forward (or backwards) no matter what we do?  Or is he saying that we all wear diapers in the beginning AND end of our lives?  Maybe he’s trying to say that men are nothing but babies in the end.  Who the fuck knows.

 

Seriously folks, how can this tripe get nominated for so many Academy Awards and a classic like Gran Torino gets shut out?  What’s the world coming to?  Fincher definitely didn’t deserve the Oscar nod.  After the classic that was Fight Club, his movies have been steadily getting worse.  He must have Benjamin Button disease too because his directing career is regressing backwards.

 

Even though Pitt’s performance is the only worthwhile thing in the whole movie (and he’s on screen for just about every scene, which certainly helps), I don’t necessarily think he should’ve been nominated for an Oscar.  Taraji P. Henson was also unjustly nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Pitt’s adopted mama.  I don’t think she did a really good job but I will say that she gave the best performance by a person named Taraji I’ve ever seen.

 

Next time Brad and David, forget about trying to win some stupid award and just concentrate on making a good movie.  Make Seven 2 or something.  (Or would that be 72?)  No need to thank me for the suggestion; that’s what I’m here for.