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Movie Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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If only Pitt had Blanchett's talent. More importantly, if only I were dating Cate Blanchett. | Photo courtesy of Paramount

Making a great film is truly an act of alchemy. How else to explain how an exquisitely and sumptuously crafted film like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button falls well short of the mark set recently by two other films made for a relative pittance: Slumdog Millionaire and The Wrestler. This is not to say that Benjamin Button is a bad film. There are far too many moments of true wonder to consign to that status. Rather, it is an occasionally brilliant film that is interrupted too often by structural awkwardness, strange directorial choices and performance misses. It constantly entices you only to lose you when you're ready to fall.

Based on a (very) short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button follows the titular character on his strange journey through life. Essentially, he lives his life in reverse: he's born an old man and dies a baby. One of the film's great successes lies in the creation of Button as he grows younger (older). Indeed, it's not until the second half of the film that Brad Pitt actually assumes the role completely. Until then, Button is the most spectacular CGI creation yet seen on the big screen (this is either a tragedy or a wonder depending on your point of view about the merits of digital effects in cinema).