Monday, December 29, 2008
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: My Oscar Bet for 2008
You've seen this movie before.
Think back, you'll remember. 1994? Box of Chocolates? Those look like comfortable shoes...? Ring a bell?
Yeah, Benjamin Button is basically a Forrest Gump "re-imagining" when you get right down to it, but hey, we can use a new Forrest Gump every 14 years, can't we?
So if it's just a reworking of something that was done before, why do I expect a best Picture Oscar to come of this? A few reasons.
First, it's almost three hours long, and it moves quickly through those three hours. Look back over the last twenty years, and you'll see that the three-hour epics (LOTR, Gladiator, Titanic, The English Patient, Braveheart, Schindler's List, Dances With Wolves, etc.) usually win, if they have a little meat to them.
Second, it's about life. And death. Trascendent themes that are easy to play, and difficult to master. In the end, nothing moves a movie-goer- and more importantly, an Oscar voter- like a movie that makes them contemplate their own imminent demise.
And third, it's better than Forrest Gump, and Forrest Gump was pretty damn good! The story was sweet and the production was expertly achieved. The special effects that made Brad Pitt look like an old man/little kid were about the best I have ever seen. (I kept thinking to myself, "How the hell did they do that?") And the love story wasn't some sweet "the-guy-gets-the-girl" love story, it was more of the kind I usually see happening in real life. Some kind of "the-guy-loves-the-girl-and-the-girl-loves-the-guy-but-they're-both-screwed-up-enough-to-ruin-what-could-be-a-good-thing-in-the-end-but-I-guess-that's-okay" kind of love story.
I give Benjamin Button an 8 out of 10, and I see it winning the final slug-out vs. "Slumdog Millionaire" at the Oscars.
Posted by Steven Rosbach at 8:22 AM