D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, 2008.
Directed by David Fincher.
Starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson, Julia Ormond, Jason Flemyng, Tilda Swinton and Elias Koteas.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a fantasy-drama loosely based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1922 short story of the same name about a boy who is born an old man and gets younger as he gets older. The film received no less than thirteen Oscar nominations and won Best Art Direction, Makeup and Visual Effects.
The story follows Benjamin Button (Pitt), obviously, a baby born with the physical condition of a very elderly man. As his Mother passes away just after the birth his Father abandons the baby Benjamin on the front door of a nursing home and he is taken in and cared for by Queenie. As Benjamin grows little by little he begins to look younger, but still very much like an elderly man. He befriends the 6-year-old grand daughter of a nursing home resident, Daisy, but their physical age difference is always a problem.
At aged 18 Benjamin leaves home and embarks on an adventure working on a tugboat in Russia and during the Second World War. When he returns to New Orleans and the nursing home looking like a gentleman in his 50s he learns that the 21 year-old Daisy (Blanchett) has become a successful ballet dancer and he also meets his real Father who soon after passes away and leaves his wealth to Benjamin.
Through several meetings with Daisy it is clear that they have a bond, but their circumstances are never right until Daisy returns to New Orleans and finds Benjamin looking young and handsome. The pair begin a relationship that sees them travel and share every second of each other’s company as well as having a daughter. As Daisy begins to age, the baby girl begins to grow up and Benjamin gets younger he takes a decision to leave Daisy and their child for their own good.
After travelling the world alone a 12-year-old looking Benjamin suffering with dementia ends up being cared for by the aging and widowed Daisy. As Benjamin gets younger and heads into infancy Daisy cares for him night and day, until he passes away in her arms.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a beautiful story and so well told by Fincher that it doesn’t pull at your heartstrings, it rips them out of your chest. Throughout the film the audience is willing Benjamin and Daisy together, but their circumstances are always wrong, until Daisy returns to him in New Orleans. As they embark on the perfect relationship and life together they are obviously content and happy, but as with life nothing ever lasts. This film is a stark reminder that life changes, moves on and things can never stay the same.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a film you must see before you die because it is a beautiful reminder that we should cherish every perfect moment and appreciate it as it cannot last and in the end all we have is our memories.