Yesterday I had the oppurtunity to witness the new film, “The Curious Case of Benjammin Button,” (based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald) starring Brad Pitt.
This was a wonderful night at the movies for me (I didn’t invite my best friend because I know he wanted to see ‘The Spirit’). Granted, Benjammin Button was mildly depressing (much like Seven Pounds. The next movie I see will be a romantic comedy or something. Oscar season can be a downer, forreal). Yet, it was still a GREAT film nevertheless! Curious Case is one of those movies where you’ll walk out of the theatre thinking about it a day or so later (whilst debating plot points with a friend or loved one). It tackles the timely issues of death and aging (pertinent questions in our youth obsessed culture). Moreover, it was filmed in the style of a classic Hollywood epic (I’m a sucker for all that grandiose and splendor), a plus for me .
The Curious Case of Benjammin Button takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana at the end of WWI. That very night Benjammin Button was born. The birth itself is a traumatic one. It is so traumatic that it dooms his mother to her untimely death. His father is distraught as his joy subsequently becomes agony. Upon seeing his new son Mr. Button, like the maids and midwives, is abhorred. The wee babe is born into the world as an elderly man…
And, unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ll know that Benjammin Button becomes younger and younger every year of his life.
Benjammin is adopted (after being abandoned by his father on a nursing home doorstep) by a black nurse named Queenie (played wonderfully by my girl Taraji P. Henson! Thank you Hollywood for giving the role to a black actress BESIDES Halle Berry for a change) who raises him as if he were her very own…
The story unfolds from there as Benjammin, growing younger and younger every year, journeys through life on a series of adventures before his own demise comes about…
I really enjoyed this movie, as I’ve stated previously. True, it never addressed the whole, “Why is this man getting younger and younger? And why doesn’t anyone close to him ever wonder why?” questions that were perculating inside my highly inquisitive mind.
Furthermore, I hated the fact that Brad Pitt played the role. Don’t get it twisted. I thought Brad gave a wonderful performance, one of his best actually! However, I could not implore suspension of disbelief, no matter how hard I tried. The tabloids definitely killed this movie star’s mystique (and his ability to immerse himself in his roles).
When the movie began I got into the story because Brad was in full costume (playing an elderly man, with a child’s mind). However, as the movie progressed, and he subsequently became young Brad Pitt again, all I could think was, “Oh my god it’s Brad Pitt!” Benjammin Button got lost in translation when his hair turned blonde. Maybe it’s because Brad Pitt is sooooo impossibly handsome (chile, he is gorgeous. I must admit. I was hatin on him for what he did to Jennifer but uhm…He’s splendid!) that it just left me distracted? I couldn’t get over his overwhelming masculine pulchritude! Was he just so handsome that it took me right out of the movie? I don’t know to be quite honest…
Speaking of movie stars…Cate Blanchett is simply the best. I would watch this woman in a movie about killer cotton balls. She’s an epiphany in every role she plays. I love Cate’s: diction, posture, regality, unusual beauty, porcelain skin, and her use of dramatic tension whenever she’s in a scene (whether she’s being funny, sad, angry, or whatever). This is a true actor’s actress! It is so wonderful to watch someone who knows their craft and literally becomes one with the character. Her different looks and costumes were absolutely divine. This woman seamlessly aged from 17 to 88 and it was nothing less than convincing. I see another nomination in her future. Cate Blanchett, in my opinion, is the best actress of this generation.
Ms. Tariji P. Henson steals every scene she’s in. At first I thought, “Oh here we go…Another mammy role.” However, Taraji played Queenie with so much soul and depth. I am so glad that she landed such a huge part in a major motion picture. This is one of the best actresses (besides Viola Davis…Who is Golden Globe nominated this year) that people have yet to recognize.
Overall, aside from the principle leads Benjammin Button has a stellar supporting cast (including Tilda Swinton. I love her too!), a wonderful script, and gorgeous (you hear me? GORGEOUS) cinematography.
Also, although it was depressing, the film left me with a broader perspective on life. As I watched Benjammin Button, as an old man, pursuing his dreams and aspirations it hit me that he didn’t wait until he was young…He lived his life doing everything that he loved in spite of his age. There really is a lesson in that. We shouldn’t let our ages deter us from accomplishing what we set out to accomplish. I believe that if we are able bodied and of sound mind we should never stop striving to do and learn more. Don’t ever allow anyone to tell you what you should and should not do in life based on age.
As someone in his mid twenties (a lady never tells “her” age…haha) I often get caught up in, “Oh my god I am such a failure…I haven’t accomplished(insert a laundry list here).” Now, I counter that with, “Y’know what? I haven’t accomplished (insert laundry list here) yet…However, I’m working towards it and I’ll have it when I have it.” For me, I don’t even pressure myself over it anymore. I believe the universe places us where we are supposed to be; and when it is time to move forward we will…Much like Benjammin Button.
Death and aging are normal. I believe that a life is truly beautiful when the inevitable is embraced and reverenced. Life is fleeting. That is what makes it worth appreciating.
Loved the movie.