Friday, February 20, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Caught this last weekend at an early showing. Early showing was important because this is a very, very long movie. The first couple of hours were slow. Very slow. Did I say that it was slow? Whether or not I liked it or thought it was good was overshadowed by how many times I looked at my watch. Another example - I normally never leave the theater during a movie. If I need a bathroom break, I just wait. I'm always afraid I'll miss something. I didn't have that problem here. I was extremely confident that no matter how long it took me to get there and back, I wasn't really going to miss anything. And I didn't.

OK - enough about the length. I, along with those sitting near us, found it humorous that this film was based upon a short story (sorry, I couldn't help myself). I'm not a big Brad Pitt fan, so I wasn't expecting much from him. So I guess he delivered. My impression is that he followed what has become a trend in Hollywood lately to get yourself either (1) overweight and/or (2) in not very attractive make-up and presto, Oscar nomination. Charlize Theron, Kate Winslet, Robert Downey Jr, etc. The story was semi-interesting, but only near the end for me as Pitt had to become younger. And the relationship he had with his love interest as their ages converged gave the movie whatever pop for me it could. Both C and I were underwhelmed and surprised that it was nominated, but then again, it fit the formula that Hollywood loves to promote. If this wins anything major, I will be surprised and disappointed.


Stephanie said...

You've convinced me I needn't bother to see it.

Stephanie said...

Playing a real person seems to boost one's chances for an Oscar. But this year's actor award has got to go to Ledger.

Stephanie said...

Actually, there's no chance Ledger will win best actor since he's not nominated in this category. So best supporting for Ledger this year.

Stephanie said...

More about the recent trend toward awarding acting Oscars to actors playing real people: On the actress side, consider the following are recent winners:
2007: Marion Cotillard playing Edith Piaf
2006: Helen Mirren playing Queen Eliz II
2005: Reese Witherspoon as June Carter
2003: Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos
2002: Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf
2000: Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich

(So 6 out of the last 8 were real people.)

On the men's side:
2006: Forest Whitaker playing Idi Amin
2005: Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Capote
2004: Jamie Foxx playing Ray Charles

(So 3 of the last 4.)

There's something slightly unfair about crediting an actor for playing a real person. There's so little creation/imagination they have to use. Sure, some skill is required to copy, but that's less impressive to me than the creation.