Friday, January 2, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008, Eric Roth)

Yeah, yeah, it’s the Gump storyline all over again- same life-spanning narrative, same episodic structure, same bifurcated character arcs that occasionally intersect. But I thought it worked better here, since it’s doesn’t lean so hard on the irony, nor does it traffic in the cornpone Americana that made Zemeckis’ film a hit. There’s no way Benjamin’s story can end well, and the film acknowledges this, and shifting the primary perspective to Daisy pays off in the home stretch much more effectively than planting us squarely in Benjamin’s shoes throughout. That said, I really wish the filmmakers had thought to get rid of the lame-ass framing device, not simply because of the semi-gratuitous use of Katrina as a plot point, but also because it adds nothing to the story, since it’s pretty clear who the old lady is from the beginning. Still, it’s handsome as hell (I mean, Fincher, duh), and a perfectly serviceable piece of Oscar-bait. Sure beats the hell out of Slumdog, anyway. Sorry I don’t have more to say- saw this a week ago, and lots has happened since. Rating: 6 out of 10.

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