The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Rated 2.0

On the level of pure technical audacity, David Fincher’s torpid The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a remarkable achievement. The Oscar-nominated film, about a man born old who ages backward, realistically captures star Brad Pitt’s regression from shriveled old man-child to Thelma and Louise-era hunk. Fincher’s images are impeccable and immensely detailed, while still retaining the glossy innocence of a children’s fantasy. It’s painstaking … but why? None of Forrest Gump screenwriter Eric Roth’s characters develop beyond their one-sentence outlines, and the emotions feel as mechanically rendered as the CGI backdrops. Pitt’s Button isn’t just a backward-aging man, he’s also a Gump-ian Southern simpleton who dispenses and ingests cutesy life-lesson cliches about following your dreams. In all, it’s probably closer to Mitch Albom than F. Scott Fitzgerald.