Merrick Morton
Chris Nashawaty
May 01, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
Wide Release Date
12/25/08
performer
Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt, Tilda Swinton
director
David Fincher
distributor
Paramount Pictures
author
Eric Roth
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Drama

We gave it a B

Not so much a satisfying drama as a two-and-a-half-hour magic trick, director David Fincher’s visually enchanting ? adaptation of an early F. Scott Fitzgerald story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, follows a naïf (Pitt) aging backward, briefly meeting in the middle with the love of his life (Blanchett). The romance, which blossoms one hour in, when Pitt is at his ripest and hunkiest, is the weakest part of the film, as screenwriter Eric Roth dips into the same bag of fanciful plot contrivances he used in Forrest Gump. No, it’s the F/X that dazzle here. When we first see Pitt’s liver-spotted head seamlessly grafted onto an old man’s rickety body, it’s a moment of Houdini-like wonder. The EXTRAS, which include Fincher’s commentary and a second disc of making-of features, so thoroughly explain the gee-whiz sight gags that they manage to ruin the illusion a bit. B

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