Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

The Curious Case

To say “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is the year’s best film is too high of a compliment (it is getting a few of those), but the film is surely one of the best of the year. With David Fincher’s direction the film moves through one man’s story with ease, grace and a much needed omnipresent feel.

The audience is allowed a once in a lifetime opportunity to read from Mr. Button’s very own journal and life-story through the voice of a dying woman’s daughter’s voice. Katrina thumps outside the window, always on the edge of land and the destruction that the audience knows will follow.

It is Eric Roth’s best idea in the script, outside of moving the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald from Baltimore to New Orleans. The introduction to the characters through a journal, and to see the dying lover of Benjamin at a ripe old age gives the audience a mistaken hope that youth will rule the film as it is a flashback. But the audience is left to see for themselves how this unbelievable story of a man who ages in reverse for their own eyes, having to wait for the youthful eyes of Brad Pitt, and the energetic movements of a younger man.

What Mr. Pitt brings to the role is a great smile, look, energy and emotional eyes (his eyes are placed on each body that Benjamin must suffer through). The problem with t he film is that Mr. Pitt is so well-known that waiting for the years to pass, Benjamin to age into a more youthful self, and to get to Mr. Pitt’s own sculpture to grace the curious man feels like ages. It is hard for an audience to anticipate his arrival, and to understand the way the human mind progresses because the body is moving in a reverse direction, wouldn’t the mind move this way as well? Not if is it a blank slate, so to see the mind evolve is very unique here. It is in fact the whole story.

The story of how we love, why we love, and how we all meet our death is the central message here, no matter how we get there.

I’ll leave it to you, the audience to discover how Cate Blanchett and Mr. Pitt work on-screen, and how their love is established. But I will say this: it works, no matter how odd it really is.

The reason it all works is because of David Fincher’s direction. His fly on the wall approach works here. Keeping the camera from showing the emotions of the actors Fincher allows the actors to create the mood. His CGI proles is something to marvel at as well (he was an effects man back in the past before getting his shot to direct). The movie is dark, it seems to take place at night more often than not (night-life is more interesting isn’t it?) but this movie is one of Mr. Fincher’s easier movies on the eyes. He stays in the shadows but lights them, and avoids frenetic cuts, or too gruesome of images.

One grievance against Mr. Roth and Mr. Fincher I do have is the Hummingbird. Forced symbolism is one of the things that movies should avoid. Let the audience discover things for themselves, don’t feed it to them. The American public and moviegoers of the world should be treated as intellects, otherwise they get lazy.

So get out there this Holiday season and see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Slumdog Millionaire.”

I am on my way to see “Slumdog” again and I hope my impressions can only be strengthened.

But for now I hope to still see “Doubt,” “The Wrestler,” and a few others that are opening.

Here is a trailer for “Ben Button”

One Response to “The Curious Case”
  1. Marfa says:

    I look forward to seeing it. What do you say is the “best” film of 2008?

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