Best Picture: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

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Executed correctly, Benjamin Button could have been as epic as the story it tries to tell. But under David Fincher’s plodding, emotionless direction, and at the behest of an episodic plot that inches along bit by bit, Benjamin Button is overly long and finishes flat.

Hamstrung by the same sentimentality that soiled Forrest Gump (also written by screenwriter Eric Roth), and as many have pointed out, similar plot points, Button nevertheless has a magical ethereal visual quality. Shot in warm, sepia tones, the picture feels like a moving 1940s photograph, giving it the feeling of a live-action fairy tale. Aided by stunning special affects, Button dazzles visually (ensuring likely wins in the relevant categories), but sadly, the makers of Button forgot something very important: it is what’s inside.

By the time–three hours later–we’ve gotten to the beautiful Brad Pitt, who then ages young at a rapid-fire pace, instead of being breathless, we are simply out of breath, Button having sucked the life out of us, too.

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