The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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The film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a complex and fascinating work di David Fincher that addresses universal themes such as life, death, love and identity.

The story of Benjamin Button is a reflection on the nature of time. Benjamin is born looking like an old man and gradually becomes younger as time passes. This allows him to experience life in a unique way, experiencing old age first and then youth.

The film is also a moving love story. Benjamin and Daisy fall in love when he is 20 and she is 12. The two live a full and happy life, but their love is hindered by their age difference. Ultimately, Benjamin dies at the age of 84, while Daisy is still a young woman. The two finally reunite in the afterlife.

The film is a reflection on the transience of life. Benjamin has the opportunity to experience all stages of life, from childhood to adolescence, from adulthood to old age. This allows him to appreciate the beauty and fragility of life.

The film is also a celebration of love. Benjamin and Daisy are an example of how love can overcome any obstacle, even the age difference and death.

The film was a success with critics and audiences. It was praised for its direction, screenplay, performances and special effects.

Cast

Brad Pitt plays Benjamin Button with great intensity and sensitivity. Pitt manages to convey the complexity of the character, both in his moments of youth and in those of old age.

Cate Blanchett plays Daisy with elegance and charisma. Blanchett creates a strong and independent character, who is not influenced by the age difference with Benjamin.

Plot

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The film begins in 1918, the year Benjamin Button was born. His parents, Thomas and Daisy Button, are shocked by his condition and abandon him in an old people’s home. Here, Benjamin is raised by Queenie, the director of the hospice, who treats him like a son.

Benjamin grows up to be a charming and charismatic man. He falls in love with Daisy, a young woman he meets when he is 20 years old. The two get married and have a daughter, Caroline.

Benjamin and Daisy live a full and happy life. Benjamin has the opportunity to experience all stages of life, from childhood to adolescence, from adulthood to old age. Meanwhile, Daisy ages normally.

Characters

Benjamin Button he is the protagonist of the film. He is a man born with the appearance of an old man and gradually becomes younger as time passes. Benjamin is a complex and fascinating character. He is a kind and compassionate man, but also a little naive.

Daisy Fuller she is the woman Benjamin loves. She is a beautiful and talented young woman. Daisy is a strong and independent woman, who does not let herself be influenced by the age difference with Benjamin.

Queenie she is the director of the old people’s home where Benjamin grows up. She is a kind and loving woman, who treats Benjamin like a son.

Thomas e Daisy Button they are Benjamin’s parents. They are a wealthy man and woman who are shocked by Benjamin’s condition.

Caroline she is the daughter of Benjamin and Daisy. She is a sweet and lively little girl.

Other characters

  • Tilda Swinton she plays Mrs. Moncrieff, a rich and powerful woman who becomes friends with Benjamin.
  • Jared Harris plays T.J. Eckleburg, a mysterious man who appears in Benjamin’s dreams.
  • Elias Koteas he plays Monsieur Gateau, a circus impresario who hires Benjamin as a clown.

Structure

The film is structured in two parts. The first part chronicles Benjamin’s life from childhood to adulthood. The second part tells the story of Benjamin’s life from old age to death.

The film is shot in chronological order, but with a particular technique that reverses the representation of time. In this way, the film begins with Benjamin being an old man and ends with him being a child.

I topics

The film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button addresses universal themes such as life, death, love and identity.

The life

The film is a reflection on the nature of life. Benjamin Button has the opportunity to experience life in a unique way, experiencing first old age and then youth. This allows him to appreciate the beauty and fragility of life.

The love

The film is a touching love story. Benjamin and Daisy fall in love when he is 20 and she is 12. The two live a full and happy life, but their love is hindered by their age difference. Ultimately, Benjamin dies at the age of 84, while Daisy is still a young woman. The two finally reunite in the afterlife.

The identity

The film is also a reflection on identity. Benjamin Button is a man who belongs to no time. He is a man who lives in reverse, from childhood to old age. This allows him to have a unique vision of the world.

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Differences between film and novel

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The plot of the film is essentially the same as the novel. Benjamin Button is born with the appearance of an old man and gradually becomes younger as time passes. The film begins with Benjamin being an old man and ends with him being a child.

However, the film introduces some changes to the novel’s plot. For example, in the film Benjamin is abandoned by his parents in an old people’s home, while in the novel his parents leave him in an old people’s home. Furthermore, in the film Benjamin and Daisy meet and fall in love when he is 20 and she is 12, while in the novel the two meet when he is 36 and she is 24.

Personages

The characters in the film are largely the same as in the novel. However, there are some significant differences. For example, in the film Mrs. Moncrieff, a rich and powerful woman, becomes a friend of Benjamin, while in the novel Mrs. Moncrieff is a more peripheral figure. Furthermore, in the film T.J. Eckleburg, a mysterious man who appears in Benjamin’s dreams, is played by Jared Harris, while in the novel he is a fictional character.

Production

Production of the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button began in 2007 and concluded in 2008. The film was produced by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner for Plan B Entertainment, and distributed by Paramount Pictures.

Director David Fincher worked closely with screenwriter Eric Roth to adapt Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. Fincher wanted to create a film that was both faithful to the novel and original.

The film required a production budget of $150 million. Most of the budget was spent on special effects, which were used to rejuvenate and age Benjamin Button’s character in a realistic manner.

Filming of the film began in New Orleans in 2007. Filming continued in other US cities, including Charleston, New York, and Los Angeles.

The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 12, 2008. The film was released theatrically in the United States on December 25, 2008.

Distribution

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was distributed worldwide by Paramount Pictures. The film was released theatrically in the United States on December 25, 2008.

The film was a highly successful commercial success. The film grossed over $335 million worldwide. The film is the highest-grossing film directed by David Fincher.

The film was released in several formats, including DVD, Blu-ray and streaming. The film was also released in IMAX format.

Reception

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was a success with critics and audiences. The film received 13 Oscar nominations, winning three. The film also won three Golden Globes, four BAFTAs and a Critics’ Choice Award.

Critics praised the film for its direction, screenplay, performances and special effects. The film has been defined as a masterpiece of contemporary cinema.

The audience also appreciated the film. The film received a score of 7.4 out of 10 on IMDb and a score of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Special effects

Special effects played a key role in the film’s production. Special effects were used to rejuvenate and age Benjamin Button’s character in a realistic manner.

Special effects company Rhythm & Hues has developed a new technique to rejuvenate and de-age actors. The technique consisted of using a combination of 3D modeling, motion capture and makeup techniques.

The special effects were praised by critics. The film won three Oscars for best production design, best special effects and best make-up and hairstyling.

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Review

by Fabio Del Greco

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a biopic that moves the general public. It must be admitted that the strength of the story of this film is truly powerful and director David Fincher deals with it in a professional manner, with great elegance.

The film belongs to that category of surreal films about the meaning of human existence, about love, the passing of time and death. This would be enough to make The Curious Case of Benjamin Button a Absolutely must-see movie, but it must also be said that the credit goes above all to the novel on which the film is based and not to its cinematic originality.

The style of the film in fact ranks at the high end of American cinema for the widest audience, without ever crossing that line, as for example a beautiful independent film by Francis Ford Coppola: Eternal Youth. Even though Coppola’s film used a star like Tim Roth for the main role, it then delved into the depths of experimental cinema and a spiritual search really shocking.

In Fincher’s film all this remains on the surface and all the great themes of human existence are only touched upon through the strength of the literary story. The photography is truly spectacular, perfect, perhaps too much so. The actors are convincing, there are no flaws in the story, direction or editing. Fincher demonstrates his skill in many scenes of the film that avoid the clichés of classic cinema to build an original and at times unsettling rhythm.

The film is directed and acted magnificently, with stunning scenography and fascinating settings, Oscar-winning costumes and make-up. But something is missing. Emotions fail to involve the most cinephile audience who expects something more, a leap into the dark, just like in Coppola’s film. A leap into the dark of such enormous themes that mainstream cinema struggles to govern with awareness. The story proceeds on safe tracks and achieves its objective of moving a very wide audience, achieving the status of “film for everyone”.

In the second part the film becomes rhetorical and excessively tear-jerking, repeatedly touching on the clichés of the romance novel. Everything is consumed with an excessive sense of drama, with scenes of crying and abandonment happening one after the other.

Some will wonder “But how could such a dramatic epilogue be told in any other way?”. With a greater spiritual depth typical of great authors, who would have managed to find in this story an ironic and grotesque depth in the saddest moments. The second part, however, is full of tearful moments, languid glances, romantic spells, seductive poses of a rather expressionless Brad Pitt.

The director chooses to exploit the well-tested classic mechanisms to generate emotions at the command of mainstream cinema and to make the audience cry on autopilot. The dark side is also missing in how The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is visually told, especially in the protagonist, who, if he works in the first part, in the second he almost annoys in his static nature of a little angel in a difficult world. Is Benjamin Button really that passive even in the literary story?

However, the film remains a colossal work of notable workmanship, which spans decades of history with reconstructions, atmospheres and memorable scenes, such as that of the deserted hotel at night where Benjamin meets his lover, and the tragic firefight on the ship. It is a profound story, which deals with universal themes, which uses a cinematic language that never takes great risks and tries to please every type of audience. With a few more lights than the standardized cinema formulas.

Rating
Fabio Del Greco

Fabio Del Greco

Director, screenwriter, actor, creator of moving images since 1987. Passionate about cinema and scholar of the seventh art.

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