The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
After all the hype, I thought it would be the best thing since... well, since The Dark Knight. To be perfectly honest, my favorite movie of the year is still WALL-E. Benjamin Button was certainly a good movie, but not the best.
Running even longer than Australia, the story of Brad Pitt's backwards aging takes a whopping 2 hours and 48 minutes. We start not with Benjamin Button, but with some old dying lady in a hospital hours before (what I assume to be) Hurricane Katrina is set to strike. Then she tells the story of a clock in a train station that takes a good five minutes and I have no idea how it relates to her. Eventually, her daughter reads a journal that is not hers, and we get Benjamin's story. I'm very curious to read the SHORT story the film is based on now, and see just how much of the clock and Daisy's story was there.
While it certainly is interesting to see the daughter's reaction to the odd tale, and we couldn't have gotten the end of the story without Daisy, I question the necessity of the other storyline. I personally didn't like Daisy, so seeing more of her didn't do much for me.
Brad Pitt, on the other hand, did an amazing job. I know technical awards always feel like a gyp, but they should get something for the makeup. He spent barely ten minutes of the movie looking like himself, the rest of the time either being drastically older or younger. He played Benjamin all the way down to around 18 years old. (Ladies, you like 45-year-old Brad Pitt? Look at EIGHTEEN-year-old Brad Pitt)
It's a good movie. It really is. But it feels a lot like Forrest Gump (with a touch of Titanic from old Daisy), in narration, the love story, and the fact that the protagonist is a man-child. (at least for half of Benjamin Button) I would wait to rent this, and go see something like Gran Torino or Slumdog Millionaire. At the very least, see a matinee and don't pay for snacks. It's good, better than 90% of what's in theaters now, but I don't think it's going to be the one that people remember 10 years from now. That honor still belongs to The Dark Knight.