The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
“I was born under unusual circumstances.” And so begins “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards: a man, like any of us, who is unable to stop time. We follow his story, set in New Orleans from the end of World War I in 1918, into the 21st century, following his journey that is as unusual as any man’s life can be. Directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett with Taraji P. Henson, Tilda Swinton, Jason Flemyng, Elias Koteas and Julia Ormond, “Benjamin Button,” is a grand tale of a not-so-ordinary man and the people and places he discovers along the way, the loves he finds, the joys of life and the sadness of death, and what lasts beyond time.
In this film in an early scene an inventor presents a clock to the community which runs counter-clockwise. Not long after, Benjamin Button is born, and his life goes full circle, born as an old man of eighty four, and leading over the years to his eventually becoming an infant. This is a fascinating story to be sure. The actors are all in good form, particularly Peter Donald Badalamenti ll as the first born Benjamin, Brad Pitt as him afterwords, Cate Blanchett as Daisy, and Taraji P. Henson as Queenie, the woman who becomes Benjamin’s mother after his natural mother passes on.
Queenie encourages Benjamin to live a good life and to pray. There are a few utterances of “Sweet Jesus” which is not meant in an irreverent way. However, there are some profanities in the film. There are good themes in the movie, including showing respect to the elderly, being true to one’s heart, and changing when one learns he or she has made a mistake. Benjamin’s father wants nothing to do with him when he is born, considering him to be a “monster” as he calls him. But regret catches up with him later on.
The story focuses on living life in forward motion, but understanding it backwards. The progression of the story from World War l to 2003 and Hurricane Katrina is intriguing as well. Unfortunately, there is some strong language in the film, along with some strong sexual situations, including the visitation to a brothel. For these reasons, we are unable to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to the movie.