Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
What does the Bible say about adultery? Answer
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer
Many people are convinced that traditional marriages don’t work and that this practice should be abandoned. What does the Bible say about marriage?
TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer
|Featuring:||Brad Pitt (Benjamin Button)
Cate Blanchett (Daisy)
Elle Fanning (Daisy—Age 6)
Taraji P. Henson (Queenie), Tilda Swinton (Elizabeth Abbott), Elias Koteas, more »
|Producer:||The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Ceán Chaffin, Jim Davidson, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall|
“I was born under unusual circumstances. Life isn’t measured in minutes, but in moments.”
What if you were able to learn exactly what to treasure and hold dear, in life, before your independent living really began? Is that something that living life backwards would really help us learn?
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is a story about just such a thing—a baby boy born as an old man. It is a story of a boy who, while being a child trapped inside the body of an elderly man, grows younger as those around him age. It is also, strangely, a story wrapped within a story about a clock built by a brokenhearted, blind clockmaker who designs it to run backwards in the hopes of gaining back that which we’ve lost too soon.
When Benjamin’s (Brad Pitt) birth-father believes his newborn son is a monster, he abandons the baby on the step of a local New Orleans hospice type home. When Queenie (the woman who runs the home) literally stumbles across the baby, her mothering instincts kick in, and she takes him in. After consulting with a doctor, it is believed that the baby will die very shortly, and she vows to love him until that happens. As Benjamin grows up (and younger) Queenie fits easily into the role of mother for him. Their bond, as well as her caring and unconditional love, is truly a beautiful and consistent theme in this film.
At some point (and I say that because it grows a little confusing, exactly how old Benjamin is, most of the time), Daisy, a granddaughter of one of the home’s residents, comes to visit. At the time Daisy is five and immediately senses something different in Benjamin, setting him apart from the rest of the elderly residing in the home. They become fast friends, and in snippets of life moments passing before our eyes, on the screen, we watch their friendship grow closer. As Benjamin is in his 17th year of life (and physically around 65 or 70), he sets out to gain some independence. Teenage Daisy (Cate Blanchett) is accepted into ballet school and their lives take on completely different paths, as one ages and one grows younger. Even so, somehow their lives always seem to gravitate back to each other.
The consistent theme seems to be living for today. Though often misconstrued, I truly appreciate this theme. We should live out each day, every moment, with intention. This film’s characters learn to appreciate what they have, when they have it. The other element I really appreciated is the faithfulness that rests between Queenie and Benjamin, and YEARS later, between Benjamin and Daisy. These are the elements of their relationships which are most moving.
Ultimately, this film is being labeled as a great, epic love story. At times it certainly feels that way, but then there are the other times when it feels like something else entirely. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” touches, sometimes only briefly, on abandonment and attachment, familial bonds, friendship and pretty much any other valuable things of human life you can lump into that.
Perhaps it’s the amount of time we’ve been hearing about the making of this film. Maybe, simply, it’s that the hype had led me to hope for more. Though often visually stunning, and, of course, brilliantly acted, I only felt truly captivated or moved towards the end of the film. The rest of the time, I just felt like it was missing something I couldn’t quite name. Its press and movie trailers have led the world, for months, to believe Benjamin Button would be a journey of magical and romantically poetic proportions. While there may have been a few brief moments of such splendor, the majority of the film lacked true depth.
This may very well be the big holiday movie, this season. There are many reasons that I can see it will gain quite a lot of Oscar buzz. Is it worthy of such? Perhaps. If you enjoy members of the cast, and are a fan of long films, you may really like it. I liked it, but that’s about it.Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.