More Early Buzz: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

More reviews for David Fincher‘s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button have begun to hit the interwebs., which means its time for another Early Buzz roundup:

Kris Tapley of In Contention: “I didn’t fall in love like so many in the crowd did.  However, I couldn’t help but sense the innovation on display, not just below the line, but in the way we tell stories.  This is a brilliant yarn, probably Roth’s finest screenplay to date, in a career that has seen some fine work.” … “I think there is no argument against Cate Blanchett being nominated for Best Actress, and again, I think she takes this award in a cake walk.” … “Nominations for Picture, Director, Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup, Original Score and Visual Effects are virtually assured.  That’s 10 you can take to the bank.”

Steve Zeitchik of THR’s Risky Biz: “For about forty-five minutes the concept takes you by storm (and makes your head hurt, in a good way), with the narrative and visual inventiveness not seen in an American film in a long time (at least one not made by Charlie Kaufman, anyway). The movie droops a little after that, as Button begins to make his discoveries out in the world. But it rebounds powerfully in its final hour” … “The movie delivers on pretty much every other level — it’s funny, though-provoking, stylish, human, artful but not inaccessible. Even when it’s taking some obvious cues, you won’t mind.”

Karina Longworth of Spout: “Watching ‘Benjamin Button,’ occasionally I actively loathed it, but mostly I just felt genuinely disappointed that it seemed so lacking in genuine feeling.” … “This film will likely make a lot of money and win a lot of awards, and yet is so phony and cloying and gimmicky that its success will some day be seen by some as a tragedy.”

Sasha Stone of Awards Daily: “If I had to name the film that would probably have the best shot at winning Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Costumes, Art Direction it would be this one.” … “this is a film that works on every level.  It is an authentic bit of writing, straight from the heart of Eric Roth” … “The film is a visual delight — though it’s oddly cold in its scenery.  A warmer, cozier world wouldn’t have made it a Fincher movie.” … “I didn’t think that Fincher could pull off something overly sentimental.”

Mike Goodridge of Screen Daily: “a wildly ambitious fantasy which contains many intriguing elements and superb production values but ultimately fails to cohere as the epic tragedy it wants to be.” … “Pitt gives his best performance to date, capturing the weariness of old age as convincingly as the vigour of youth. Blanchett (who is also given a digital rejuvenation for her teenage years) is as superb as ever, although the chemistry between the two is muted to say the least.”

Dave Karger of Entertainment Weekly:
Button is an Oscar movie with a capital O, with jaw-dropping production values, a soaring romance, and terrific performances, particularly from supporting-actress candidate Taraji P. Henson as Benjamin’s de facto mother. Even if Brad Pitt doesn’t make it into the tough Best Actor race (the likes of Clint Eastwood and Leonardo DiCaprio may squeeze him out), I still can see Button racking up as many as 11 nominations, which could very well be the highest tally for any film this year.”

Todd McCarthy of Variety: “a richly satisfying serving of deep-dish Hollywood storytelling. This odd, epic tale of a man who ages backwards is presented in an impeccable classical manner, every detail tended to with fastidious devotion.”

Anne Thompson of Variety: “an historic achievement, a masterful piece of cinema, and a moving treatise on death, loss, loneliness and love.” … “The actors are superb, especially Pitt and Cate Blanchett, who should earn Oscar noms.” … “the movie is sadly beautiful, of a piece, as impeccably wrought as its ornate clock that runs counterclockwise.”

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