Running time: 161 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 12
Released in the UK: 6th February 2009
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 14th February 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
David Fincher has directed some of my favorite films, both Se7en (1995) and Fight Club (1999) would easily make it into my top 100, maybe even my top 50. So it was with some anticipation that I watched this one. I was not disappointed, it’s a really great film that grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until it’s over. It’s not perfect, so few films are, but it’s certainly entertaining, if maybe a little too long.
Benjamin Button was born in 1918 in New Orleans on the day the Great War ended, that’s World War I for the uneducated. His mother had died giving him life and he looked old and wrinkled. His father, for some reason, took him out of the house and left him on the steps of an old peoples home run by Queenie. She took him in, not expecting him to live long, but, as it turned out, she was wrong. You see, for some reason, Benjamin was born old and, as we watch, he grows young. As time passes, he gets stronger and we learn about daily life at the home, the comings and goings and some of the characters that live and work there. One day, Benjamin meets a young girl calle Daisy, she is visiting he grandmother at the home. Although he looks in his seventies, he’s really about eight years old. They hit it off, and years later she has a great effect on Benjamin’s life. Eventually, when he’s seventeen, Benjamin leaves and joins the crew of a tugboat called “Chelsea”. They sail around the world and are in Russia when he meets Elizabeth Abbott, the wife of a British diplomat, with whom he has an affair. When World War II breaks out he stays with the tugboat and gets involved in some action, which he survives unscathed. On his return home his real father comes to him and tells of his regret for letting him go. He’s a rich man and he leaves it all to Benjamin. I won’t say any more anout the plot or I’ll be here all night, but needless to say he eventually meets Daisy again…
As I was watching this film I though it reminded my slightly of Forrest Gump (1994), but soon realised this film had a much bigger scope. It’s told mostly in flashback, with Daisy on her deathbed and her daughter, Caroline, reading Benjamin’s journal. I thought the make-up and special effects were really excellent, I really thought I was looking at an eighty year old Brad Pitt! Talking of which, Brad Pitt was really excellent as Benjamin Button and Cate Blanchett did a great job as Daisy. I must give honourable mentions to, Julia Ormond as Caroline, Taraji P. Henson as Queenie, Jared Harris as Captain Mike and Tilda Swinton as Elizabeth Abbott.
Over all, a really engaging film with a great cast, some great effects, that are subtly done and a really heart-warming ending. If anything, I found it a little over-long, but all in all, it’s one I can recommend.
My score: 8.3/10
IMDb Site: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0421715/
Official Site: http://www.benjaminbutton.com/