The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (12A)

Film

Drama

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Feb 3 2009

The investigative scope and emotional weight of David Fincher’s ‘Zodiac’ surprised those of us who accused him of valuing style over substance. But in ‘Benjamin Button’, the director assumes a greater challenge: an epic, melancholic romance that employs a multi-generational cast and groundbreaking visual effects. It’s a testament to Fincher’s skill as a storyteller that the film actually works, albeit sporadically.

The script was adapted from a F Scott Fitzgerald story about a man who ages in reverse. Newborn geriatric Benjamin (Brad Pitt) is abandoned on the steps of an old folks’ home and raised by kindly nurse Queenie (Taraji P Henson). As a septuagenarian on crutches he meets love of his life Daisy (Cate Blanchett); in middle age he woos and wins her; as a young man their life together begins to fall apart.The screenplay was written by ‘Forrest Gump’ scribe Eric Roth, and it shows: much of ‘Button’ takes place in a Southern fantasia populated by brassy women and sassy black folks, all of whom pepper their conversation with enough homespun homilies to fill a Reader’s Digest almanac. But thankfully this is Fincher’s movie, not Roth’s, and his exacting eye for bravura visual spectacle  carries the picture.

At times infuriatingly banal, at others unexpectedly powerful, this is shameless Oscar bait that transcends hokey scripting thanks to a combination of sheer craft and some remarkable performances, notably Tilda Swinton, whose brief, poignant turn crystallises the film’s timeless themes of love, loss and regret.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Feb 6, 2009

Duration:

166 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:27
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|80
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Janet

If I had been at the cinema I would have walked out and self-harmed in the alley at the back. What shallow predictable mind-numbing nonsense! Made Marley and Me look like a masterpiece.

hmmmmmmmmmm

a good thought provoking film, quite loooong htough and does slightly drag on. nevertheless a different story line unlike a typical film, but i must admit quite predictable. brad and kate were both wonderful. i would recommend this to an older audience.

hmmmmmmmmmm

a good thought provoking film, quite loooong htough and does slightly drag on. nevertheless a different story line unlike a typical film, but i must admit quite predictable. brad and kate were both wonderful. i would recommend this to an older audience.

Larry

I saw it last night and I can see how many people found it long and somewhat detailed - it was. Indeed a few people left before the ending. Personally, I thought it was very good - it kept me engaged for the whole time. I liked the detail and it all came together nicely in the end, even if some of the things (such as him turning into a baby), went against logic. Overall, though, it has made me think about my life and question how I spend my time, knowing full well that my clock will stop at some point too

Larry

I saw it last night and I can see how many people found it long and somewhat detailed - it was. Indeed a few people left before the ending. Personally, I thought it was very good - it kept me engaged for the whole time. I liked the detail and it all came together nicely in the end, even if some of the things (such as him turning into a baby), went against logic. Overall, though, it has made me think about my life and question how I spend my time, knowing full well that my clock will stop at some point too

Bob

This film was so poor,it went on for so long and I have never felt so depressed after watching a film!!!!!

Rachel

This is such a good film!!! Anyone would love it!!! It is quite sad at the end though but is well worth going to see!!!! IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!

Rachel

This is such a good film!!! Anyone would love it!!! It is quite sad at the end though but is well worth going to see!!!! IT IS AWESOME!!!!!!

aimee

this was the worst film ever i couldnt believe it got nominated for so many awards it was crop

chris.w

oh come on people you can tell that some of u are just saying its rubish, i mean do you have to try that hard just to find an arguement and make yourself look big, i didnt think it was bad at all

Lianne

PLEASE do not watch it.. do not waste your money especially your time.. i was expecting a good movie but sadly it was bad.. but both performance from brad and kate were very good.. moving but boring..

roomi

Loved the film. Didnt feel the time. Was swept by the story telling and the world it created. Yes the old lady's voice over was a bit incomprehensible ...and the device of the woman on the death bed recounting her life a bit too hollywoodish.......but still wonderful storytelling, fin e performances and a film that pulls you in by its heart-the pathos of the man who wants to turn back time to bring his dead son back and the sadness of a mismatched love which despite its sheer improbability still hits you in the gut.

roomi

Loved the film. Didnt feel the time. Was swept by the story telling and the world it created. Yes the old lady's voice over was a bit incomprehensible ...and the device of the woman on the death bed recounting her life a bit too hollywoodish.......but still wonderful storytelling, fin e performances and a film that pulls you in by its heart-the pathos of the man who wants to turn back time to bring his dead son back and the sadness of a mismatched love which despite its sheer improbability still hits you in the gut.

pj

BORING.Five of us went to see it aged from 9 to 84 and we all hated it. The film was dark, the old lady mumbled her words.The idea was good but half of it was only in it to make the film longer as things happened with no follow up and we couldnt understand why some scenes were in it.ONE OF THE WORST FILMS ANY OF US HAS SEEN.

Sandie

Brilliant, one of the best films iv seen, fab for all those Brad fans out there:-) Must see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sandie

Brilliant, one of the best films iv seen, fab for all those Brad fans out there:-) Must see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Misha

The film was really good one of the best films i have seen and i am 14 by the way

Misha

The film was really good one of the best films i have seen and i am 14 by the way

fern

this was the best film i have wached in ages its great the only badish thing about it is that there was no real reason why there had to be a hurricane but everthing else was great i did not think i would like it but but i loved the movie carnt wait for it to come out on dvd

fern

this was the best film i have wached in ages its great the only badish thing about it is that there was no real reason why there had to be a hurricane but everthing else was great i did not think i would like it but but i loved the movie carnt wait for it to come out on dvd

Callum

Wearily boring, charmless, pointless... I suppose it's trying to do a Forest Gump, but where's the story to snare our interest?

Georgia

I absoulutly LOVED this film! I am glad it got as many oscar's as it did. Ignore the people who didnt like it, they obviously dont know acting! It is very long film maybe just a tiny bit to long. But it still was brilliant how it came to have an idea of life going backwards. It is very CLEVER! It is an enjoyable, funny, sad, brilliant film. I would recommend this to anyone. I can't believe some people walked out of the cinema! Brad Pitt was just AMAZING! One of the best films I have seen him act in. It is amazing how they turned him into an old man with all the make-up, and also how he acted as an old man. He acted well as a kid too. Go see this MOVIE! You will LOVE IT!

Georgia

I absoulutly LOVED this film! I am glad it got as many oscar's as it did. Ignore the people who didnt like it, they obviously dont know acting! It is very long film maybe just a tiny bit to long. But it still was brilliant how it came to have an idea of life going backwards. It is very CLEVER! It is an enjoyable, funny, sad, brilliant film. I would recommend this to anyone. I can't believe some people walked out of the cinema! Brad Pitt was just AMAZING! One of the best films I have seen him act in. It is amazing how they turned him into an old man with all the make-up, and also how he acted as an old man. He acted well as a kid too. Go see this MOVIE! You will LOVE IT!

Georgia.

I abosulutly LOVED it. I is a brilliant film! I would recommend you to see this film. It was very long film but I still enjoyed it. I think it is more for the adults than the kids, but it really depends what films you like. Brad Pitt is brilliant how he plays an old man and when he is younger. It has a good story line to the film. Go and see this film! You will love it.

Georgia.

I abosulutly LOVED it. I is a brilliant film! I would recommend you to see this film. It was very long film but I still enjoyed it. I think it is more for the adults than the kids, but it really depends what films you like. Brad Pitt is brilliant how he plays an old man and when he is younger. It has a good story line to the film. Go and see this film! You will love it.

cutie

this film was good but dragged on a bit. it was really sad at the ending. i would recomend it for adults alough younger people maylike it it depends on what sort of film u like

cutie

this film was good but dragged on a bit. it was really sad at the ending. i would recomend it for adults alough younger people maylike it it depends on what sort of film u like

SANDY S

Why write an epistle about a film which had a slow start and then became "something a bit special"? Let's not be picky!! It is a great film. The makeup for Brad and Cate was exceptonal!

SANDY S

Why write an epistle about a film which had a slow start and then became "something a bit special"? Let's not be picky!! It is a great film. The makeup for Brad and Cate was exceptonal!

Russell

I have to say that I had mixed feelings about the idea of this film, I'd read the confessions of max tivoli, which was to all intents and purposes the more complete version of Benjamin Button, that Fitzgerald never got around to writing, and I could see that the concept could work... but I'm afraid that on balance that this film just doesn't work, the cgi is terribly invasive, it seems to at parts want to play like a Tim Burton fairytale... but doesn't, othertimes maybe Button is a Gatsby, but none of it is terribly convincing and the film just drifts at parts. Pitt is quite good, apart from the accent, Cate Blanchett just looks miscast, the movie has its moments but overall its all a bit mixed up., and a wasted opportunity.

wendy

it just goes to show that other peoples reviews don,t have any basis on whether your going to enjoy a film i thought it was fantastic and so did the other three people with me when we were walking out at the end i could hear lots of others cmmenting how much they enjoyed it so go see for yourself

wendy

it just goes to show that other peoples reviews don,t have any basis on whether your going to enjoy a film i thought it was fantastic and so did the other three people with me when we were walking out at the end i could hear lots of others cmmenting how much they enjoyed it so go see for yourself

jimmy

forget all the bad reviews go and see it we have and absolutely loved every second

jimmy

forget all the bad reviews go and see it we have and absolutely loved every second

Popsicle

OMG this film is total, complete and utter bollocks. People were walking out! Maybe would've been OK if it were 1.5 hours shorter. Cate Blanchetts voice as an old lady is one of the most annoying sounds you will ever hear in your life. The movie just goes on and on. By the midway point you actually start looking forward to them dying. By the end you're cheering!

marian

This is the most beautifully shot film I have seen in years,and a truly moving story of relationships and aging.Its a bit slow to start ,but perhaps we are all too used to action film in this video ages we live in.Take the time to appreciate it.

marian

This is the most beautifully shot film I have seen in years,and a truly moving story of relationships and aging.Its a bit slow to start ,but perhaps we are all too used to action film in this video ages we live in.Take the time to appreciate it.

Nogel

OH MY SWEET JESEUS!!!!! I feel for the first time in my life that I have truly wasted my time. I was very aware that I was in a dark room with a hundred strangers, well I suppose better that than having to listen to this tripe. Worst piece of crap I’ve seen since my last bad bout of food poisoning. Basically, a troll gets younger as each year goes by and believe me, that takes just as long as it sounds. Go see it if you want to see and old man pervert a small child, get on a small boat, live in a small cold country while steadily getting less and less wrinkled. I could see the same thing after getting out of long bath. The only light relief was an old man who was continuously struck by lightning, this however was also mercilessly stabbed to death by the time it was shown for the 3rd of 7 times. This "film" was void of any interest, emotion, acting ability, engagement and every other aspect that could make any motion picture watchable. To compare it to other movies would be wrong. I prefer to compare it to having my fingernails slowly pulled out while having a fat man sit on my face, at least that’s what Brad Pitt must have been threatened with to accept this role which he carried off without a hint of enthusiasm or display that he had ever acted before. Don’t go to see this movie, as Benjamin gets younger and younger, you must endure this lifeless tale while you only get older and older.

cecil

Hollywood Studio's sticky fingers all over this one. An exceedingly manipulative film that is filled that never quite gets over its own cleverness. Its been a long time since I've seen a film that is this self-conscious. And with such a Pedigree behind the Production of it, and in front of the Camera, its a mystifying result. Perhaps one that smacks of either too much interference from the Money Boys - or not enough. There's alot of Voice Over in this 2Hour 55 minute Feature, and the result is distancing, While I was being told what to feel and what to think I just didn't care about the Characters Im watching. While the CGI is an interesting notion, I found it impossible to stay in the film while marvelling at Cate Blanchett's head morphed onto a Ballerina's body. Ultimately it's an interesting experiment that detracted from the story rather than added to it. The fact that this film has been nominated for so many Oscars says alot about the Culture of Hollywood and what they deem to be a creditable film.. . Save your money and see a film that has a director and writer at the top of their game, Slum-dog Millionaire. Now THATS a film.

cecil

Hollywood and Studio's sticky fingers all over this one. An exceedingly manipulative film that with an overused Music Score and heavy flashback seeks to spell out any potential sub-text, and therefore destroys any chance of audience involvement. If you like your films Intelligent, and with a modicum of subtlety dont see this. There's also alot of Voice Over in this 2Hour 55 minute Feature, and the result is distancing. After just under 3 hours I want to care about the Characters Im watching, but I didn't. The fact that this film has been nominated for so many Oscars says alot about that body and what they deem to be entertainment in films. Apparently absence of authenticity, and a good story don't matter. Just throw alot of money at the screen in terms of Art Department, CGI, and get some cracking "names" for the leads and your a shoe- in!. Save your money and see a film that has a director and writer at the top of their game, and see Slum-dog Millionaire. Now THATS a film.

DV

I think I'm starting to get a handle on how these public reviews work... Beautifully shot, if a little slow in places. And not as sad as I was expecting. Not sure about how the last phase of his life panned out... Still. Well above average.

DV

I think I'm starting to get a handle on how these public reviews work... Beautifully shot, if a little slow in places. And not as sad as I was expecting. Not sure about how the last phase of his life panned out... Still. Well above average.

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