David Fincher’s memorable new drama, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” is a wonderful movie that is loosely based on the 1922 short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. However, in Fitzgerald’s story Benjamin was physically, mentally and emotionally older at birth and got younger on all fronts.
The film’s structure starts in a New Orleans hospital in 2005 on the eve of Hurricane Katrina. Daisy (Cate Blanchett) is on her deathbed. Her daughter, Caroline (Julia Ormond) is reading a diary kept by Daisy’s childhood friend Benjamin (beautifully played by Brad Pitt in a bittersweet and endearing performance).
At nearly three hours, the movie is too dense to fully explore, but as Benjamin ages in reverse, we find him meeting along the way all those people who will become important to him. Through reading the diary we flash back from 1918 and follow Benjamin and Daisy up to the 21st century.
Throughout this movie, there’s an ache to the proceedings that’s palpable, particularly as Benjamin slowly turns into the man we eventually recognize as Brad Pitt while those close to him move into the old age he already has experienced. As he grows younger and younger, he watches those closest to him slip away while he himself is fueled by a vitality they have long since forgotten.
This film is rich and intelligent, it's beautifully shot and just as well acted. I would say that it's one of the years best movies.