Friday, December 26, 2008

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

When you have 3 hours, it is worth the price of admission if only for the computer generated images and how they get Brad Pitt's face and body into the different ages he plays. If you are from New Orleans, beware- because if you are a certain age, these houses and cafes and people will make you homesick. Like me. In the movie, Pitt ages backwards. His brain goes from old man to baby, and his body ages in reverse- which doesn't explain why he is born as an infant and dies as an infant. But that detail didn't matter to the script writer I guess. Kate Blanchett is, to me, the very definition of the phrase "she is so homely that she is pretty". And the supporting actors do a very nice job. The worst performance is actually by Pitt- who just isn't up to carrying the weight of the human compexity of Benjamin Button. Probably the biggest flaw in this film is the length. The mid part of Button's life, when he is at sea, becomes tedious and filled with well, filler. A story that tells an ENTIRE life, well, it has to pick and choose how it does that. I thought Forrest Gump was a scene too long. And this film is really about 25 minutes too long. I could have edited it myself- very easily. The other problem is the score- a maudlin and intrusive score that distracts from the movie, and encourages weeping from the sensitive souls in the audience. I am glad I went to see it as the entire premise is intriguing, the actors are lovely to look at, New Orleans is and always will be my home. But this is not the second coming of film perfection- and in fact, it was as if the filmmakers fell in love with a script and then no longer paid attention to the fact that the REST of us mattered.