The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a film unlike any other you have seen before. The way it skips through history will remind you of Forrest Gump, but the fantasy of a man aging in reverse changes the perspective just enough to create a unique viewing experience. Director David Fincher (Fight Club, Panic Room) steps waaaaay out of his comfort zone with his best buddy Brad Pitt and together they tell a mature, touching, and inspirational story.
While the special effects attempt to steal the show, Pitt’s performance throughout the changing times is perfect. His expressions during the start of the movie are spot on. Button (who appears elderly but has only been alive ten years or so) is filled with the curiosity and wonder of a young boy. With the passing of each decade, a slight change is added to Button’s expressions and mannerisms. It is this attention to detail that causes the audience’s attachment to the story and its characters.
Fincher accomplishes the hard task of shortening a lifetime into the confines of one movie. While the film has a running time of 166 minutes, the only part that feels long is the beginning. Once Benjamin is walking and talking, the story races on, skipping in and out of memories remembered in Button’s notebook.
Fincher is a talented director who has a number of high profile films under his belt. Seven (also starring Pitt), The Social Network, The Game (with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn), and Alien 3 (the first of the Alien film franchise to use computer-generated effects for the aliens) are three of the ten films he has made over the years. Most recently, he directed the American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara). In Benjamin Button, he employs all of his talents in order to create a rich and detailed world for Pitt to inhabit and translates a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald into a full-length film that is well worth enjoying.