Taken from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button follows the life of its title character, a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards. Throughout the film we follow his story, which is set in New Orleans just after the end of World War I and proceeds into the 21st century, eye-witnessing his journey as he discovers the joys and disappointments that life has to offer. Through the process, we meet the most extraordinary people, dissect their intellect and ambitions, and ultimately lay witness to the ominous mark that we all leave on others that continue to walk and live on this miraculous planet.
Fully absorbing the life and mind of the infamous Button, Brad Pitt gives one of the most fluid and natural performances of his career. In the process, he makes a statement, proclaiming himself as one of the most talented and diverse actors on screen. Through his passionate movements and his ability to transform onscreen, Pitt is able to engross himself into Button, alerting you to his talent as you become entranced within his character and the overall film, moving and growing with him as he continues his decent through the years. But even with his personal role, what really took me by surprise was his ability to adapt to the numerous decades in which he played in, interacting with his co-stars and showcasing the intelligence and innocence that comes with a man who lives an altered life.
Also preforming beyond expectations are Pitt's co-stars Cate Blanchett and Taraji P. Henson. Though each play a supporting role as Button's love interest and mother-figure respectively, each are able to adequately steal their scenes, providing for the perfect balance between both characters and the story. For Blanchett, it is her earnest good nature and placid approach to Daisey, the one true love of our lead protagonist, that helps her steal the spotlight at several moments throughout the flick. Her relationship with Benjamin is nothing unordinary; however, even though both were born at the same time, the two lovers are only compatible when their ascending and descending ages interlock for a few short years. The time together could have been extraordinary, but with the stress and frustration that results from such a complicated friendship, neither is able to fully support the stance, providing for one of the most heartbreaking moments in the film.
On the other side of the spectrum is Taraji P. Henson, a relative newcomer who gives an amazing performance as Queenie, the women who discovers Benjamin after he is abandoned by his father minutes after his birth. Having to work out the kinks and understand the awkward looking infant who has cardiac and arthritis, Henson fully exposes the emotional and physical being, giving her all and allowing audiences to relate and adapt to her and her surroundings. She is the perfect match for the unusual case that is Benjamin Button, and luckily for fans, they get to see that early on.
Yet, even with the overhaul of amazing performances, Benjamin Button's underlying force is its story, which is properly adapted from one of the most prestigious writers to ever put pen to paper, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Telling the extraordinary tale of a normal man who must experience life as it has never been experienced, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button examines the unknown, detailing numerous possibilities and ultimately shedding light on a topic that many have either wished for, or wondered what would be the effect of. The end result is one of immaculate proportions, as director David Fincher brilliantly captures the story and characters, bringing them to life through film, thus creating one of the most extraordinary and mind-boggling tales that challenge your mind on the idea of aging and the effect that one person can have on millions.