Sunday, December 28, 2008

Benjamin Button

There are some movies that, soon after it starts, I begin looking at my watch to determine how much time could possibly be left until it is over; there are other movies that, after it has ended and for as long as possible, I consciously avoid reading a clock so that I will not involuntarily calculate how much time has passed. The movie I saw tonight is one of the latter.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (view the trailer) — I find myself struggling to decide what to say about it. It is a beautifully told fantasy, richly and finely layered with metaphor; the filmmaking is artistry, pure and simple. One of the most memorable sequences is a stunningly lyrical fantasy-within-a-fantasy; it is a sequence that tells a story that is increasingly and candidly unlike what actually took place, and it does so with such skill and impact that its final image, because it depicts what did not take place, elicited audible gasps from the audience.

This movie is a work of art. When the Academy Award nominations are announced in a little more than three weeks, it will be listed multiple times: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Actress (as well as Best Makeup and Best Score) — and it should win. Cate Blanchett certainly should win; Brad Pitt very well could win. In any case, see it, and enjoy.



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