Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

old-man babies

First Reviews of ‘Benjamin Button’ Indicate It’s a ‘Profound and Moving’ ‘Dud’

Despite an ironclad studio embargo threatening to turn all violators into backwards-aging old-man babies, reviews for Sunday's first-ever screening of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button have started to appear on blogs. How are they? Mixed! "It's magic realism propelled by extraordinary filmmaking technology but it's not remotely what I'd call cold," an "industry spy" writes to Variety's Anne Thompson. "It creates a world of oddities and wonderful, off-kilter characters but the whole piece is anchored by a decades long relationship that gets strained, frayed, breaks and rebuilds into something profound and moving." A "friend" of the Playlist disagrees, calling it "an emotional dud" with special effects that, "rather than support the story," "distract and distance."

A blogger at Obsessions of a Pop Culture Nerd was similarly underwhelmed ("I wasn't as moved by this film as I wanted to be"), citing the movie's lack of any real urgency. And Spoutblog's Karina Longworth says, "I imagine that if I were to post what I actually think about the film in any significant detail, I would be punished. And I kind of really want to see Revolutionary Road, so I'm gonna hold off on incurring the wrath of Paramount a little bit longer," but hints that she had problems with the movie's special effects.

We haven't seen Benjamin Button and don't even have any friends we can quote anonymously here, but we get the sense that it's a little schmaltzy in a way that'll either put you off or totally sweep you away. In other words, we bet this wins tons of Oscars.

Scoop! Review of THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON Plus Q & A with Brad Pitt, David Fincher [Obsessions of a Pop Culture Nerd]
Early Benjamin Button Review [Anne Thompson/Variety]
Color Us Concerned: 'Benjamin Button' An "Emotional Dud"? [Playlist]
Benjamin Button Reviews Start Seeping Out [SpoutBlog]

Photo: Courtesy of Paramount