David Fincher directs this Oscar-nominated tale of Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) — a man who was born old and wrinkled but grows younger as the years go by — with a screenplay adapted from a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The plot throws linear conventions upside down to explore love, loss and memory from the perspective of a character living under incredibly unique — and unexpectedly difficult — circumstances. Cate Blanchett co-stars.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Every once in a while there is a director who comes along who is so special that we’re lucky to have been alive when they were creating films. The first time I saw “Seven” I knew a new genius had arrived. His name was Robert Paulson…err… David Fincher (If you’ve seen Fight Club, you’ll understand the joke). He has since gone on to do the underrated “The Game”, “Zodiac”, and “Fight Club” (One of the top 10 best films of the 1990’s; I’ll do that list soon). So, it was with little hesitation that I saw this movie despite its boring trailer. Well, I was not disappointed.
Fincher is a marvel with a camera. There is a visual style to his work that is completely identifiable and unique. Every shot almost looks like a painting. If that wasn’t enough, his work with actors and storytelling is equally good. He was always known as someone who could make a gripping tale but rarely an emotional one. Benjamin Button proves he’s adept at that as well. There is an aura of originality to this film that is almost otherworldly, like a lucid dream. You become involved with these characters and when their hearts break, so does yours. It takes a talent to pull off that feat. If there’s one criticism I’d point of this film, it’s that it does take a long time getting to the end. I suppose it’s hard with a film like this where you could fall in love with every shot to leave some of it on the cutting room floor.