One of the leading contenders for this year's Academy Awards for Best Picture is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.This buzz extends to the competent performance of Brad Pitt who had to play the title role from being an infant born with a face of a man in his 80's aging backwards until he reaches full growth.
The movie is armed with masterful direction and discreet special effects thanks to director David Fincher who also directed Se7en, Fight Club and the mentally and patience challenging Zodiac. It is penned by Eric Roth who was also responsible for the unforgettable Forrest Gump.
Pitt's performance, though an extension of Meet Joe Black, is serene and flawless for whether he is playing a kid in an old man's wheelchair-bound body or an old man with a youtful face lifted from Thelma and Louise.
In all this perfection, the movie had one terrible flaw. It lacks emotion. While Benjamin is a very intriguing character, he is a mere storyteller of his own tale but never the hero. His character lacks depth and as consequence his quest for love is unaffecting. This extends to Cate Blanchett who revisits the tale with her daughter, Julia Ormond, while she is on her deathbed. It is quite contradicting to present a sentimental moment and pluck out the very essence for the need of such sentimentality. This pays off however in traversing the nagging issues of death and how impermanent the people in our lives are as it was able to present these topics without the cheesiness that usually accompany them.
While the film could have benefited from a little dash of emotion, it can be likened to a perfect meal from a gourmet restaurant. It tastes perfect and is totally satisfying but at the end of the day, we still look for a home-cooked meal because that is what makes us feel comfortable and that is our version of perfection.
Movie Rating: 4/5