Archive for the ‘Benjamin Button’ Category

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Wanting to Live vs. Waiting to Die in ‘Button’

January 30, 2009
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Youth is Wasted on the Young

With a runtime of 2 hours and 46 minutes you expect a lavishly epic film like this to be  fawned over during Hollywood award season-whether it’s good or not.  And with 13 Oscar, 5 Golden Globe, 3 SAG, and countless other film critics award nominations The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is no exception to the rule. 

Aside from it’s uncanny resemblance-in style, tone, and story-to another marathon movie, Forrest Gump, (Eric Roth wrote the screenplay for both films) what I dug most about Button was its unconventional perspective on aging and as unusual as it was, I don’t mean the aging backwards plot twist.  In fact, waiting for Button to get young and die is the least interesting part of the movie. 

In the title character’s New Orleans retirement home the aged residents each hold on to their independence and sense of self.  No, this is not your typical place where the decrepit play tiddlywinks and bide time until their death.  On the contrary we are introduced to the affluent lady who insists on wearing her fancy dresses to a meal on the patio, the woman who swims the English Channel in old age, an accomplished pianist who teaches Benjamin how to tickle the ivories, and the womanizer who continues to mack the younger ladies.  Play on, player.

Though Benjamin is born under the most unusual of circumstances his cohorts are indifferent to his condition as they each are in a moment in their lives where they are accepting life as it unfolds.  Death is an afterthought.  Rather then worrying about the whens and wheres of death’s reach these senniors are more focused on embracing what has been and what will be with no regrets.  What an extraordinary way to go.

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