Posts Tagged ‘curious case of benjamin button’
Monday, February 2nd, 2009
The Academy Awards presentation will take place on February 22, 2009 and you can purchase the movie posters for the nominated films at All Movie Replicas.
Just click on the links below to shop for the original theatrical release movie posters or the replica prints.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon Frank Langella
Milk Sean Penn
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Brad Pitt
The Wrestler Mickey Rourke
The Visitor Richard Jenkins
Rachel Getting Married Anne Hathaway
Changeling Angelina Jolie
The Reader Kate Winslet
Frozen River – Melissa
Best Supporting Actor:
Tropic Thunder Robert Downey Jr.
Doubt Phillip Seymour Hoffman
The Dark Knight Heath Ledger
Milk Josh Brolin
Revolutionary Road Michael Shannon
Best Supporting Actress:
Doubt Amy Adams
Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Penelope Cruz
Doubt Viola Davis
The Wrestler Marisa Tomei
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Taraji P. Henson
Slumdog Millionaire Danny Boyle
The Reader Stephen Daldry
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button David Fincher
Frost/Nixon Ron Howard
Milk Gus Van Sant
Best Animated Film
Kung Fu Panda
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Friday, January 23rd, 2009
The 81st Oscar nominations came with some surprises up its sleeve this morning, snubbing the year’s biggest film and finding room for smaller performances.
The Dark Knight, the second-largest-grossing movie of all-time, was left off the Best Picture list in favour of a list of critical favourites that include Slumdog Millionaire, the little movie that could. Slumdog, which won the Golden Globe earlier this month, also garnered nominations for adapted screenplay and for director Danny Boyle. In all, it got nine nominations.
The other nominated pictures are The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which led the pack with 13 nominations, along with Frost/Nixon, Milk — which had eight nominations — and The Reader. All the Best Picture directors were also nominated.
The Reader, a post-Holocaust drama about the love affair between an older woman and a young man, was a surprise inclusion because of its controversial subject matter. It also won a Best Actress nomination for Kate Winslet, who had earlier won the Supporting Actress award at the Golden Globes. Winslet had been touted as a possible Best Actress nominee for the acidic 1950s drama Revolutionary Road, but she and co-star Leonardo DiCaprio were snubbed, as was the movie itself.
Joining Winslet in the Actress category was Melissa Leo, star of the well-received but decidedly small drama Frozen River. She’s going up against Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married, Angelina Jolie in Changeling, and Meryl Streep in Doubt.
It was a good day overall in the Jolie household: husband Brad Pitt, who ages backwards as Benjamin Button, was also nominated, along with Mickey Rourke, the comeback kid, who won the Golden Globe for his portrayal of an over-the-hill wrestler in The Wrestler. Frank Langella, who played Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon, and Sean Penn, as the gay politician Harvey Milk in Milk, are joined by longtime character actor Richard Jenkins, the star of another small but much-loved movie The Visitor.
The supporting categories also were filled with unexpected names. The Supporting Actress nominees included favourites Marisa Tomei as a stripper in The Wrestler and Penelope Cruz as an angry wife in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but also Amy Adams as the innocent nun and Viola Davis as the mother of a boy who may have been abused, both in Doubt, along with Taraji P. Henson, another surprise for her turn as the adoptive mother of Pitt’s character in Benjamin Button.
The supporting actor nominations were headed by the favourites, the late Heath Ledger, as the evil Joker in The Dark Knight and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a priest who may or may not be a child abuser, in Doubt. But the rest of the list showed a tendency for the Academy to take chances: Josh Brolin as the conflicted politician in Milk, Robert Downey Jr., performing in blackface as a method actor in Tropic Thunder, and Michael Shannon as the mentally ill intruder in Revolutionary Road, the only major award for that movie.
The Quebec movie The Necessities of Life, which was on the short list for Best Foreign Film, did not make the cut.
The nominations for the 81st Annual Academy Awards:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
BEST ACTOR – SUPPORTING
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Josh Brolin, Milk
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
BEST ACTRESS – SUPPORTING
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant, Milk
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Kung Fu Panda
Canwest News Service
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Tuesday, December 30th, 2008
One of the remarkable things about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the films ability to resonate with every audience, yound and old.
Here’s the beautiful thing about film: Movies speak differently to different people. That’s a simple truth. And what a film truly means — which is to say, what one takes away from it — can change and evolve and grow along with its audience. We bring into every theater our age, our experience, our successes and failures, our joys and our longings. We sit in the dark, gazing at the screen, subject only to ourselves. This is the very same reason why a movie which sparks a flame in some people ultimately fails to find its tinder with others. Yet it’s this remarkable quality that makes The Curious Case of Benjamin Button such an achievement — that it is capable of speaking to every audience, young and old, and that while its message will be vastly different for grandchild and grandfather, it will only ever age, backward or forward, as we do.
And the concept is simple — that Benjamin Button begins life as an old man and ends life as a child. Whoever said that we enter the world weeping and weak and bald and in diapers, and leave it the very same way, spoke to one of the underlining truths of Benjamin Button, a philosophy heightened by the love story at the film’s center. Born as a shriveled infant — eyes blind, joints swollen — Benjamin (Brad Pitt) is abandoned by his father, Thomas Button, on the doorstep of an old-folks home and taken in by Queenie, an African-American nurse. Slowly, Benjamin takes on the frame of a man well into his ’80s. In a departure from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s original story, Benjamin has only the mental faculties of a child, growing into a kind of mental adulthood as his body knits itself back into boyhood.
When Benjamin first meets Daisy (Cate Blanchett), she’s perhaps 10 years old to Benjamin’s 70, but it’s a meeting of children nonetheless. It’s also the start of a love story that develops slowly, and eloquently, over the course of decades. The film itself spans the entire course of Benjamin’s life, following his “childhood” spent in the home to his “adolescence” spent at sea with Captain Mike, following the currents directly into the events of World War II and home once again, back into the company of Daisy. It’s not a complicated film, just a broad one and its magic is simply in the depth of Benjamin’s point of view. Though he thinks and behaves and acts contrary to his own physical appearance, Benjamin allows the audience to apply their own understandings of life to the journey. Certainly, introspective twentysomethings will find a vastly different meaning in the film than those older and closer to death, but there’s honest, moving and emotional meaning to be found there by both… and in plenty.
This is in large part attributable to the absolute triumph of director David Fincher, whose visual mastery and unsentimental approach never spoon-feeds the audience or over-sweetens the narrative. As with any life, there’s equal parts suffering and celebration, and Fincher treats this inevitability fairly and with respect. One never feels forced into a particular emotion, which, given the premise, might easily have been the case with a lesser director. Rather, he applies his painterly eye for framing and his expert understanding of visual effects to tell a story which allows the audience to take from it whatever they will, offering much yet giving nothing. And that neither Fincher nor writer Eric Roth wink too heavily or acknowledge too overtly the magic realism of the premise allows for the audience to do the same.
Many an effects-person has long said that if an audience fails to notice the illusion, they’ve done the job to their own satisfaction, and if such is the barometer for success, then Benjamin Button boasts perhaps the finest use of visual effects ever put to film. The aging techniques applied to Pitt throughout the movie virtually disappear into his performance, so seamless and smoothly integrated that beyond some initial sense of admiration, the effect drifts away into the narrative. No doubt, there’s some top-notch CG wizardry on display here, but rarely, if ever, is there a moment when one becomes acutely aware of it.
But none of it works if Benjamin himself doesn’t prove to be somebody with whom the theater is willing to pass a lifetime. Fortunately, Pitt’s performance offers the range of human experience — from the innocent eyes of an 80 year old child to the experienced, world-weary gaze of a teenager who’s been alive almost a century. Pitt creates not only the singular character of Benjamin Button, but various versions of the man glimpsed at a number of points throughout his life. The acting here, while certainly never showy, is expert in its subtlety. And Blanchett does some wonderful work as Benjamin’s counterbalance, providing not only a gut-wrenching visual contrast as the two age beyond one another, but an emotional core, as well. Together, the two have created a love story that says as much about life as it does about love.
Click on the link below to read the entire review (then go see the movie):
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Saturday, December 13th, 2008
Release date: Thursday December 25, 2008
Director: David Fincher
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Screenplay: Eric Roth
Producer(s): Ceán Chaffin, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy
Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Taraji P. Henson, Jason Flemyng, Elias Koteas, Julia Ormond
Official Site: benjaminbutton.com
Rating: PG-13 for brief war violence, sexual content, language and smoking
Available film art: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button movie posters
“I was born under unusual circumstances.”
And so begins “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards: a man, like any of us, who is unable to stop time. We follow his story, set in New Orleans from the end of World War I in 1918, into the 21st century, following his journey that is as unusual as any man’s life can be. Directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett with Taraji P. Henson, Tilda Swinton, Jason Flemyng, Elias Koteas and Julia Ormond, “Benjamin Button,” is a grand tale of a not-so-ordinary man and the people and places he discovers along the way, the loves he finds, the joys of life and the sadness of death, and what lasts beyond time.
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