Monday 15 February 2010

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button...

None of my mates wanted to see this in the cinema over a year ago, which was a bit of a bugger, and then the double disc DVD was only released in America (and cost-prohibitive to import), which was even more of a bugger ... so that meant I've ended up waiting until it appeared on Sky Movies this week to give it a looksee.

Upon first hearing the basic concept, and that it was being directed by David Fincher (and starring his acting collaborator Brad Pitt), I was sold and greatly looking forward to it.

The opening twenty minutes was a bit sketchy though, I have to say, with the 85 year old Benjamin as a baby playing more disturbing than intriguing, but this soon settles as we really begin to recognise Pitt behind all the CGI trickery (which, for the most part, is excellent). I also thought the present day moments, taking place just prior to Hurricane Katrina striking New Orleans, were definite dips in the flow of the movie. I felt drawn out of the story at these moments, but then again without these moments the narration would sit uncomfortably without its contextual grounding.

Pitt, having already wowed me in 2007's sodding brilliant The Assassination of Jesse James, wows me again with a performance that charts the development of the titular character who ages backwards with intelligence, humour and grace.

Having initially found it a little hard to get into, with those bumpy opening twenty minutes or so, I soon found myself getting entirely caught up in the life story of this intriguing character. I'm pleased to say that Fincher continues to excell at this directing business, and has managed to direct Pitt towards one of his very best performances.

Quirky, warm-hearted, and with an ambient pace, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a real treat. It may have a few bum notes here and there, but ultimately the film is a definite must-see.

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