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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

January 3, 2009


We went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button yesterday afternoon.  This movie is loosely based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  (I found this great site to download the short story for free on The Book Lady’s Blog.)  The movie opens as Daisy lies dying in the hospital.  She asks her daughter, Caroline, to read a diary to her.  It turns out to be the diary of Benjamin Button.  Benjamin was born as an old man and his mother died during childbirth.  Thinking Benjamin is some kind of monster, his father left him on the steps of an old folk’s home.  Queenie, who works and lives at the home,  finds him and raises him as her own.

Benjamin loves growing up in the old folk’s home and learns to adapt to his “curious” circumstances.  He appreciates his youth as he acquires it.  As a young man, he meets Daisy, the granddaughter of one of the residents of the home.  Daisy is the love of Benjamin’s life and they will be in and out of each other’s lives until Benjamin’s death.

I don’t want to give any more details away.  I really enjoyed the movie, but I did think the middle of it was a little too long – some things could have been left out without affecting the story.  (Carl and Vance disagreed with me on this, by the way.)  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button serves as a reminder to cherish what you have and enjoy every moment while you can.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2009 7:36 am

    Great review!

    I mentioned Milou in a post today!

  2. January 3, 2009 7:49 am

    Nice review. I like that you say this movie serves a reminder to cherish each moment. That’s a nice message.

  3. January 3, 2009 7:52 am

    I am interested to see this movie. I read The Confessions of Max Tivoli, which had a similar concept but I thought that it just glossed over too many details in its execution. I would love to see this concept done justice.

  4. January 3, 2009 8:22 am

    I am reading the short story today and hope to see the movie on Sunday. I’m reserving judgment on the short story, but thus far, the mother is curiously absent.

  5. January 3, 2009 9:03 am

    I’m hoping to see this next week. I’ll be waiting to read your thoughts about the story.

  6. January 3, 2009 11:35 am

    Glad you enjoyed the movie Kathy. I’d like to see this one.

  7. January 3, 2009 12:06 pm

    Nice review – I want to see this movie!

  8. January 3, 2009 12:31 pm

    I’m going to read the story, then hope to see the movie in the next few weeks. There are a few other books-to-movies I want to read/view (*The Reader* and *Slumdog Millionaire* come to mind)

  9. January 3, 2009 12:33 pm

    My husband’s been trying to talk me into seeing this one. I might just have to agree after reading your review of it.

  10. stacybuckeye permalink
    January 3, 2009 12:41 pm

    My husband can’t wait to see this one, but the almost three hour length makes me keep putting it off.
    Thanks for the review!

  11. January 3, 2009 12:50 pm

    I hope to see this one today or tomorrow. I read this short story a few months back and have a hard time visualizing the adaptation, but it still looks really good!

  12. Erin permalink
    January 3, 2009 4:05 pm

    should be an interesting movie. It seems like it would be difficult for the movie to have the same imaginatory elements as the book. I am hesitant to see it for that reason, though not all the reviews I read are that bad… (ex: maybe that is just because of the brad pit aspect… hmm….

  13. January 3, 2009 4:07 pm

    this is on my list of “I want to see” as well. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  14. dross08 permalink
    January 3, 2009 4:57 pm

    I guess it’s just me because I would grade this movie as D-. an hour and a half too long and very, very, slow. It reminded me, in a knock-off kinda way, of a dumbed down version of Forest Gump. Hope I didn’t rain on anybody’s parade, but come on! This was a poor excuse for a movie.

  15. January 3, 2009 5:02 pm

    btw. Almost ALL of the film was shot in New Orleans. Note also that the scene from the hospital of the mother dying in bed, is moments before when Katrina hit New Orleans.

    Brad Pitt now living a lot and doing a lot in New Orleans really shows. I’m sure he had a significant hand in the realism. Of course, the story telling part is of a fantastical nature, but everything else is pinpoint accurate.

    The streets around old town of New Orleans where the home is. Perfect.
    The Streetcar in New Orleans. Perfect. It’s still running today even after the hurricane.
    The accents are good for the local New Orleans.
    The street decorations and details are pristine.

    In the old rendered shots of the Southern Railroad Passenger Trains… PERFECT. Those are exactly how they looked and sounded when in the New Orleans Southern Station. The Southern Station is also spot on in detail, the little bit one gets to see.

    I however am not sure what station that is they actually put the clock in that counts backwards.

    Needless to say, I really dug the movie. Very well done.

  16. January 3, 2009 5:44 pm

    I think my parents and I are going to see this tomorrow – thanks for the review! I’m glad I can look forward to it.

  17. January 3, 2009 7:27 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. I forgot to include in my review that I loved that they gave a nod to The Great Gatsby by naming the female lead Daisy in the film…that is definitely not her name in the short story 🙂

  18. January 3, 2009 8:49 pm

    I am wanting to see this movie. Nice review. The message that you mention is heartwarming and so so true.

  19. January 5, 2009 8:29 am

    We saw the film yesterday, I thought it was good, but not perfect enough to watch more than once. My youngest son, who’s 19, pointed out that the end where it’s said, “some people are dancers, some are mothers…etc…” was interesting to him. I asked why, and was surprised when he said, “because the main character really didn’t do anything in the movie to define him, he just sort of wandered through life, aging backward..” He also thought the film seemed to rush through the ending, and aspects of that part of Benjamins life could have been explored better. That would have added some time to it, huh?

    Personally, and I fully acknowledge I’m being seriously picky and a pain in the tookus here, it bugged me when Daisy’s beautiful blue eyes were mentioned in the beginning and then as her character aged, at least one of the child actresses had brown eyes.

    All my negativity aside though, it was good, I enjoyed it enough that I postponed the trip to the restroom until after the movie had ended! (and as my kids mentioned, I stayed awake through the whole thing…sheesh…fall asleep in a couple a Disney movies and never live it down…)

  20. January 5, 2009 8:40 am

    I want to see this one, but I think I’ll wait for the dvd. Thanks for the link to the short story.

  21. January 5, 2009 9:33 am

    I really loved the movie, too — I found it incredibly moving and was very “swept up” in the story. The middle of the plot did seem to drag a bit, but just like you, my family disagreed with me on that! My grandmother, in particular, just loved it and wouldn’t have changed a thing. I’m really glad I got a chance to see it!

  22. January 5, 2009 2:02 pm

    My husband and I went to see this movie on New Year’s Eve and we both enjoyed it. I loved it so much that I found myself thinking about it and almost bursting into tears again as I was falling asleep that night. But you summed it up well…Cherish every moment!

  23. January 6, 2009 1:15 am

    Seems an unusual movie storyline… I look forward to seeing this one, when it comes here…

  24. January 6, 2009 5:26 pm

    Great review! I’m going to try and drag the hubs to see this. But I think I’ll read the story after watching the movie because I cannot stand adaptations that don’t follow the stories exactly lol 🙂

  25. Chelsea permalink
    January 12, 2009 12:28 pm

    I agree with your statement about the middle of the movie being too long – in my opinion, it was FAR too long! I also felt that the movie lacked some of the magic that the short story did. But I will give the movie its appropriate accolades for tackling a difficult subject matter (and some difficult cinematography) absolutely wonderfully!

  26. January 17, 2009 6:26 pm

    it was a little weird to see an old version of Brad Pitt’s face pasted onto a kid’s body, but i guess that’s why they call it a “curious case”

  27. March 23, 2009 10:13 am

    I am looking forward to seeing this movie! Nice review

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