I’ve never had much luck or patience when it came to three hour long epic movies - there’s either far too much to take in or not enough. It takes a brave director, a great screenplay writer, and a few not too shabby actors to pull it off and I have to say Benjamin Button just about did just that.
It’s not so curious that this film has been nominated for no fewer than 13 Oscars, it will certainly tick all the boxes for the film gods that be. However, there are times when the small bits of special effects threaten to ruin the film or when it verges into Forest Gump like territory thanks to screenwriter Eric Roth (Munich, Ali, and of course Forrest Gump ). Despite these minor pitfalls the film, adapted from F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, manages to be completely entertaining (the three hours just flew ).
Benjamin (Brad Pitt ) was born under “unusual circumstances” and just like everyone else he is unable to stop the passage of time, except in his case he gets younger.
The film starts in a hospital, on the day that Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, where Daisy (Cate Blanchett ) is dying and her adult daughter Caroline (Julia Ormond ) reads aloud from the diary of Daisy’s lifelong friend and love, Benjamin. The diary recounts his entire life which starts with him being born an old man, his mother dying in childbirth, and his biological father abandoning him on the steps of a seniors home where he is raised by black care giver Queenie (Taraji P Henson ).
Benjamin grows up quite confused about his circumstances; in his mind he is a child but he looks like an 80-year-old just like the elderly people who surround him. But things are changing, with every day that passes his hearing gets keener, his back straighter, and the more adventurous he feels. He goes off to discover the world, meets a few loves along the way including Elizabeth Abbott (Tilda Swinton ), and experiences life until he finally re-connects with Daisy. Both aged in their forties they “meet in the middle”.
Brad Pitt is just brilliant as Benjamin Button, a character which helps us realise to grab every opportunity while we can because time flies whether you are old or young. As long as you get a comfortable seat, plenty of munchies, and manage to time your toilet breaks you should enjoy this film.