The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

( 61 )

Overview

David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's story, re-teams the director with Brad Pitt, who takes on the title role. What makes Button such a curious case is that when he is born in New Orleans just after World War I, he is already in his eighties, and proceeds to live his life aging in reverse. This sweeping film follows the character's unusual life into the 21st century as he experiences joy and sadness, loves lost and found, and the meaning of timelessness. Cate...
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Overview

David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's story, re-teams the director with Brad Pitt, who takes on the title role. What makes Button such a curious case is that when he is born in New Orleans just after World War I, he is already in his eighties, and proceeds to live his life aging in reverse. This sweeping film follows the character's unusual life into the 21st century as he experiences joy and sadness, loves lost and found, and the meaning of timelessness. Cate Blanchett co-stars along with Tilda Swinton, Elias Koteas, and Julia Ormond.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Interviews with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; Audio Commentary featuring Academy Award-nominated Director David Fincher; Footage revealing the innovative techniques behind the Academy Award -winning visual effects and makeup; Step-by-Step examination of the motion-capture process aging Brad Pitt; In-depth exploration of David Fincher's creative process on the set; Interview with acclaimed composer Alexandre Desplat about the score; Featurettes on the film's storyboards, costumes, and Academy Award-winning Art Direction; Stills Galleries, including costume designs and candid behind-the-scenes production photos; Optional French- and Spanish-dubbed soundtracks; ; Plus: An Essay by film critic Kent Jones
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Think back a bit. How many times have you heard an old man spout that time-honored cliché, "If I knew then what I know now, things would have been a lot different growing up." In The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a man has the extremely rare opportunity to do just that. Adapted from author F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story by director David Fincher and Oscar-winning screenwriter Eric Roth Munich, Forrest Gump, the film allows us to take two journeys simultaneously -- one physical, and the other psychological. At its core, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is an inventive and involving mortality fantasy that isn't as much about the eponymous protagonist as it is about the people he meets along the way in life, and the profound effect they can have on his existence and world view -- even if their names tend to escape him from time to time. Benjamin Button came into this world with the body of an old man, but the spirit of a newborn child. Raised in a retirement home after being abandoned by his father, the grandfatherly boy always assumed he was just another resident like all the rest -- until the day he met the lovely Daisy. And while initial appearances may have suggested that Daisy was merely coming into this world while Benjamin was surely on his way out, the truth is that this remarkable pair was on a most curious collision course. Later, as the old man grows into a young lad and ventures out into the world aboard a rickety tugboat piloted by crusty but kindly Captain Mike Jared Harris, he finally starts to realize what living is all about. We experience Benjamin's life through not only the entries he has made in his diary, but the fading recollections of Daisy, who now lays dying in a New Orleans hospital as Hurricane Katrina begins to shake the skies above. As a result, we start to understand how Benjamin's unique circumstances afforded him the opportunity to view life from a perspective that most people dream about, but no one ever lives. Director Fincher is more than up to the task of following Benjamin as he learns about life -- and women -- while working in a Russian port during World War II and becomes embroiled in a battle at sea after the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, and screenwriter Roth does a fantastic job of showing how Button's many experiences enriched his life while simultaneously giving him a profound appreciation for the human condition -- and the love of a beautiful woman. Together, Fincher's and Roth's talents yield a fable that wrestles with some pretty weighty concepts, but still has something for everyone. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is brimming with intriguing concepts and brilliant visual effects, making it a stimulating treat for both the eyes and the intellect. Perhaps it's a small miracle that Fincher never lets the story get so heady that it becomes adrift within its own elaborate, time-shifting universe and loses sight of the human drama that drives it, but then again, the story wouldn't be nearly as affecting without the many characters that guide our protagonist along the way. There's nary a moment that Brad Pitt isn't entirely believable as the humble traveler at the center of the film -- whether he's hobbling along as an adolescent septuagenarian early on, or turning up as a fresh-faced teen later in life. The chemistry he shares with co-star Cate Blanchett radiates through the masterful special-effects makeup and digital manipulation that they both don at various points in the film, and when Benjamin and Daisy both meet halfway in life, it's a joy to see them interact in their "natural" skins. Supporting players Harris, Taraji P. Henson, Jason Flemyng, and Tilda Swinton are all a pleasure to watch as well, and newcomer Rampai Mohadi makes a hearty impression with his brief role as a jovial Pygmy who gives Button his first taste of freedom. As a director, the last thing David Fincher could be accused of is excessive sentimentality. Yet, in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, we begin to see a side of Fincher that wasn't afforded to us in such cool-to-the-touch classics as Seven and Fight Club. So has one of modern cinema's great cynics gone soft? In a sense, yes -- at least this time out. But while some jaded cinemaphiles might make the case that Fincher has lost his creative edge only because he isn't shredding consumerism or damning conformity outright, who's to say that force can't be equally as effective when turned in the opposite direction? After all, wasn't Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Amélie every bit as intoxicating and spirited as his dreamily dark feature debut, Delicatessen, or the frightfully bizarre City of Lost Children? Just like everyone else, filmmakers are people who change with time. Sometimes that change involves moving in a direction that may surprise fans; sometimes, sadly, it means losing their creative spark. Have no fear, Fincher still has his spark. The only difference from before is that this time the spark serves to illuminate, rather than burn.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/5/2009
  • UPC: 097361430645
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: 2-Disc Special Edition / Widescreen
  • Time: 2:45:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 96,444

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brad Pitt Benjamin Button
Cate Blanchett Daisy
Taraji P. Henson Queenie
Julia Ormond Caroline
Jason Flemyng Thomas Button
Mahershalalhashbaz Ali Tizzy
Jared Harris Captain Mike
Elias Koteas Mr. Gateau
Phyllis Somerville Grandma Fuller
Tilda Swinton Elizabeth Abbott
Lance E. Nichols Preacher
Rampai Mohadi Ngunda Oti
Elle Fanning Daisy (Age 6)
Madisen Beaty Daisy (Age 10)
Ed Metzger
Peter D. Badalamenti
Robert Towers
Lois Hall
Technical Credits
David Fincher Director, Producer
Kirk Baxter Editor
Donald Graham Burt Production Designer
Lorrie Campbell Set Decoration/Design
Greg Cannom Makeup Special Effects
Ceán Chaffin Producer
Kelly Curley Production Designer
Jim Davidson Associate Producer
Alexandre Desplat Score Composer
Ryan Heck Set Decoration/Design
Kathleen Kennedy Producer
Ren Klyce Sound/Sound Designer
Michele Laliberte Art Director
Tanny Lee Set Decoration/Design
Frank Marshall Producer
Masako Masuda Set Decoration/Design
Laray Mayfield Casting
Claudio Miranda Cinematographer
Randy Moore Art Director
Scott Plauche Art Director
Eric Roth Original Story, Screenwriter
Brian Sipe Makeup Special Effects
Robin Swicord Original Story
Angus Wall Editor
Clint Wallace Set Decoration/Design
Mark Weingarten Sound/Sound Designer
Jacqueline West Costumes/Costume Designer
Randall D. Wilkins Set Decoration/Design
Jane Wuu Set Decoration/Design
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Curious Case of Benjamin Button - The Film
1. Mr Grateau's Clock [:20]
2. Benjamin's Diary [6:02]
3. "You Never Know What's Coming For You" [1:29]
4. Daisy [7:30]
5. Nights to Remember [2:30]
6. Winter Palace Hotel [4:31]
7. Off to War [6:50]
8. Kismet [1:55]
9. Mr Thomas Button [4:56]
10. "Never Far from my Thoughts" [5:23]
11. Collision Course [1:29]
12. When it was Supposed to Happen [8:10]
13. Meeting in the Middle [7:34]
14. Postcards [:31]
15. Good Night, Benjamin [5:41]
16. End Credits [7:16]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Curious Case of Benjamin Button - The Film
   Play the Movie
   Commentary
      Commentary: On/Off
      Commentary
         Index
            Framing Devices
            Casting
            Integrating Benjamin/Extras
            Changing Relationships/Visual Effects
            Captain Mike/Blue Screen
            Regrets
            The Wrong Place, Wrong Time
            Cate
            Benjamin's Father
            Contrasting Cultures
            Destiny?
            The Honeymoon
            Becoming Parents
            Second Unit/Benjamin's Return
            The Demise
            End Credits
            Color Bars
   Chapters
      Color Bars
   Languages & Subtitles
      Languages
         English 5.1 Surround
         French
         Spanish
      Subtitles
         English
         French
         Spanish
         Subtitles: None
Disc #2 -- Curious Case of Benjamin Button - The Supplements
   The Curious Birth of Benjamin Button
      Play All
      First Trimester
         Preface
         Development and Pre-Production
         Tech Scouts
         Storyboard Gallery
         Art Direction Gallery
      Second Trimester
         Production: Part 1
         Production: Part 2
         Costume Design
         Costume Gallery
      Third Trimester
         Visual Effects: Performance Capture
         Visual Effects: Benjamin
         Visual Effects: Youthenization
         Visual Effects: The Chelsea
         Visual Effects: The Simulated World
         Sound Design
         Desplat's Instrumentarium
      Birth*
         Premiere
         Production Stills
   Stills Galleries
      Storyboards
      Art Direction
      Costumes
      Production Stills
   Trailers
      Trailer 1
      Trailer 2
   Subtitles
      English
      French
      Spanish
      Subtitles: None
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 61 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 61 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    THIS MOVIE IS EXTRAORDINARY!!!!

    I watched this when my mother bought it the day that i came out and i think that the whole thing is very poetic. I've read some reviews that say that it is like the Titanic and Forrest Gump put together, but I'm okay with that because those are two other movies on my top10 list. The emotional and physical challenges that Benjamin Button goes through are amazing. The whole story is very inspirational. My favorite part of the movie has to be how they incorporated the hummingbird into his story. Being the only bird that can fly backwards, it portrays how Benjamin can look back on his past by looking to the future.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    One of my favorite movies!

    To say I loved this movie is an understatement. It is not very often that I sit in a theater and constantly think how much I am enjoying something. This is a beautiful story about life. It reminds us of what is important - the people that weave in and out of our life's story. The attention to detail was extraordinary. I thought it was Brad Pitt's finest moment. Taraji P. Henson was wonderful. She is an actress to watch for in the future. As I was watching this movie I told my husband over and over I wanted to own this when it came out. This is not a movie for everyone - but if you love stories that bring out your emotions and touch your heart please see it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    BEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN!! MUST-WATCH

    This movie was the most splendid movie I have ever had the pleasure to watch. This was beautiful. The way the movie portrayed the different stages of Benjamin's life were seamless! The transitions from his life, the women he loved, the adventures he partook, all leading to his ultimate love for Daisy and life, in itself. The clock going backwards, and the hummingbird's presence and importance throughout the film was brilliant. The story seemed almost as a life's journey being told to you and Benjamin Button will capture your heart from the first, raisin-bodied time you see him on your television screen till the youthful blue eyes you see of him at the very end. I assure you, if you enjoy movies that will last a lifetime, Benjamin Button will be the best 2 hours and 45 minutes of escapism in all your life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    way way too too long

    This pic suffered from an endulgent editor. Much of the minor story points should have been dropped to the editor's fl. Being a huge fan of the director, D. Fincher - "Zodiac"; "Seven" and "Fight Club" (all exceptional flicks) - I feel like I'm betraying him and I've been betrayed simultaneously. This overlong opus was technically strong but, from an audience member's point of view, emotionally weak. Usually, his main characters explode from the screen with complex, conflicting dispositions. Although the performances here are strong, they lack any complex character arcs. It felt like a straight forward (no pun intended) love story. In the past, he has demonstrated strength by combining these disparate distinctions in order to accomplish a classic. This one doesn't have that edge that his other attempts possess. That said, it is a well assembled film with a thought provoking premise. Moreover, Fincher has once again (see above titles) proven that he can take a complex, semi-nonlinear storyline and and mold it into something anyone can enjoy. So, you may really love it but do you really like it?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2012

    This movie ‘’The Curious Case of Benjamin Button&rsq

    This movie ‘’The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’’ contains cliff hangers at every moment the producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall put into it. This book/movie is about a boy who is born old and as he grows up he gets younger. He experiences love and hate. People judge him.The first criteria that makes this a good movie is cinematography. I especially liked all the angles the movie had. For example when Benjamin was playing with some toys the camera was right up in his face.The second criteria that makes this a good movie is the length. Even though the movie was 2 hrs. 45min. long every scene fit in and came together. The producers put in popular events and also some events that weren't really needed but came up in conversation.The third criteria that makes this a good movie is the makeup. When I first saw Ben as a old baby I definitely thought that he didn't have makeup on. It looked natural. If you're wondering to watch the movie first or read the book in my opinion it doesn't really matter. Although the movie gives off more information.

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  • Posted September 6, 2011

    Highly recommended!

    I loved this film. Brad Pitt was wonderful in the title role. You could feel the anguish from Cate Blanchett in this movie, how she was so torn between her love for Benjamin and her daughter Caroline. This was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. The acting was great!

    The comparison of Benjamin Button to Forrest Gump is ridiculous. The only similar thing is that they're both films.

    Watch this movie and you be the judge. The story is by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a towering icon in the world of literature.

    The make-up was fabulous. Incredibly so. I wish that Julia Ormond would be in more movies because she is absolutely wonderful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wow this is an amazing movie i love you Brad Pitt!

    Brad Pitt was wonderful in this movie as being born an old amn and turing into a hansome young man the movie is a must see classic a real roamntic fim that is heartwarming and inspiring and Brad Pitt does it all as Benjamin Button and Cate Blanchett as Daisy was wonderful

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Better than the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Fitzgerald's brilliant idea is turned into an epic. Great acting by all. Superb direction. The New Orleans touch and the involvement of African-American characters, not in the original story, adds flavor and depth to what was an intellectual, imaginative story.
    When hurricane Katrina comes at the end of the movie and the Cate Blanchett character dies, it is like the old New Orleans. so beautifully portrayed in this film, dies also.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Relative Film

    Excellent film. Fasinating subject matter. Very original epic love story made during the decade of the hollywood remake. Inspires discussions on many levels......including science & relativity.....besides being a truly beautiful movie.

    Wonderful performance, as usual, from Kate Blanchett. Brad Pitt at his best. Very impressive.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Everyone did some wonderful work

    Director, David Fincher, tackles this complex, yet beautiful story with great confidence. Two characters have to age through out. One ages backwards, the other forwards.

    Along with actors Brad Pitt and Cate Blancher, Fincher steps up to the task.

    Though at first I was probably more interested in seeing how Pitt aged backwards, I was soon drawn into the story and it was very heartfelt to say the least.

    I liked this film.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Just awful!

    The trailer for this film plays romantic music and shows very little of the ambience of the actual film. It was dark, both literally and emotionaly, depressing, and just plain weird. The first time in my life a movie actually made me feel upset to my stomach. Both my husband and myself gave it a try, but finally just took it out and never finished watching it. That's a first!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Liked it Better as Forest Gump

    Not quite the same as Forest Gump, but many of the devices from that movie have been poorly reworked into Benjamin Button.

    Caution before reading. This may contain some spoilers.

    Same plot outline: Told in flashbacks and narrated by the main characters, pure-hearted, simple-minded, soft-spoken, southern accented, momma-boyed, slack-jawed wimps come into the world with disabilities (age/bad legs), which they eventually learn are not disabilities at all. The love interests go through the same arcs: loves the main characters, too self-absorbed to love the main characters, after a long delay falls on hard times and relies on the main characters.

    The main characters are tossed through events in history without making any real decisions. Colorful leaders enter, and come to depend on the the main characters' constant 70 bpm heart rate for some unknown reason. Macguffins (a weak plot device) such as the button business or shrimp business, give the characters financial independence.

    Aside from the dismal story telling, I found it difficult to get past the unconvincing makeup job. Old or young, Benjamin Button looked like Brad Pitt at 40 in makeup.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    My movie of the year!

    I absolutely loved this movie - it's not about time traveling backwards (etc..) but how true love survives all. Must see!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    MUST SEE, MUST BUY! THE BEST LOVE STORY EVER! WHY? THERE HAS NEVER BEEN SUCH A FICTITIOUS MAKE BLIEVE FILM, WITH SELFDRENCHING FEELING AND REALLITY, WITH OVER THE TOP MEANING AND HEARTFELT STORY TELLING.

    WOW! It is an obvious Love Story, but insured with Drama and Epic proportion's. I was touched and gripped from start to finish. If U only like Romance Drama's or comedic Romance(The NoteBook, 27 Dresses[which I like]), U might not B into this one. This one demand's attention to Amazing Story Telling, so if U enjoy great storie's or Plot's, and Brilliant Production's, then this "Curious Case" will surely arouse you, and give you a taste of astounding fascination...I loved the mother's statement of Banjamin after he was born of "you sure are ugly," fitting perfectly into what we today semi quote, that "only a mother can love." And she(step mom)loved him. Also, From lover's love to motherly love, Cate's part in the story does what I was not sure would happen, but wanted to happen, in that Benjamin is taken care of as a baby(after he aged reversedly):I LOVED IT ! Julia Ormond's(daughter)reading the story at the hospital to a dying mother(the roll of Cate)from Pitt's own Diary, to Pitt bcoming a kid and child and forgetting his past, gave me what I want from all movies:a closure, but not complete. Please, watch this movie...Brad and Julia did another great movie together, "Legend's of the Fall," 1994.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    sweet story

    This was a very sweet story, but the movie was overrated. Clocking in at close to 3 hours long, I found myself watching the clock, waiting for Benjamin to turn into an old man baby and die. The special effects are amazing, though.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Keeper from Fincher and co.

    This film is a visual knockout, first of all. As Ben moves though time, David Fincher springs a terrific battle at sea, as well as intimate moments between the hero and his great love Daisy. Performances are adequate - Pitt is able to find the humanity and turmoil inside a man whose very existence is both miracle and curse. Criterion will make sure the movie stays around for a long time, which is a good thing. Below in recommendations are films dealing with the joy of life, characters disconnected from reality, and finally another film from Fincher that will relate to Button's length and visual style. Enjoy!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 61 Customer Reviews