Monday, May 4, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

I have worked part-time at Blockbuster in addition to my other job for the last eight or nine months, and even though I only usually work around ten hours a week, I feel like my current movie knowledge has far surpassed what it ever was before. (What it was before: Kathy asks if I've seen a movie, I say "Mm, I don't know. I think so." Kathy gives me a dubious look. Repeat a hundred times.) I'm entitled to five free rentals a week, and feel a strange responsibility to use them. This is due to customers constantly asking, "Have you seen this?" and, after I shake my head, they give me a look full of disdain (sometimes they say, "But you work at Blockbuster!" and you have to shrug like you have no excuse for yourself), and I illogically feel like a bad person/employee. No, really, it happens all the time. And then even when I feel like I have watched a decent amount of movies, and am feeling pretty proud of myself, 90% of the movies people ask me about will be gross horror movies - "How does Saw 5 compare to the other Saws?" - or super action ones - "What did you think about Max Payne?" - and I will shake my head and receive more disappointed sighs.

Regardless, the point of this story is mainly due to my free Blockbuster rentals, in the last few weeks I have watched the rest of the Oscar-nominated movies from last year. I can't remember a year I actually saw all of the big Oscar movies, but The Reader, The Wrestler, Frost/Nixon, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, I've seen and enjoyed them all. Today we watched the last of them, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I'd put off wanting to see this for awhile, because for some reason I just kept thinking it was going to be super long and boring. Well.

I loved this movie in an intense sort of the way, in a way I only feel once in a while. I was kind of in love with the whole thing. I feel like the epic-story-of-a-life-ness was on par with Forrest Gump, and the cinemtography/feel of the movie was in the wonderfully dreamy, Southern, almost-fantastical way of Big Fish. I don't think it could have taken place anywhere but New Orleans, and it all just fit so well with the weird-yet-magical atmosphere of that city. Really, I think I am in love with any movie/book/story which radiates with Southerness, soulful and strange and sweaty and romantic and deeply rooted. Give me a good Southern tale and I will want to forever wrap myself up in it like a blanket. I was surprised at the emotion that hit me at the end, for the whole last twenty minutes or so; not to give anything away because goodness knows I hate spoilers but the first moment you see him when his mind has progressed but his body has become really young, I started crying with a suddenness which shocked me. The whole thing was, and odd, and great. I really, really liked Slumdog Millionaire and still don't have a problem with it winning best picture, but the violent, disturbing parts of it really upset me, the way that most violent, disturbing things do, because I am a really, really big wussy. But watching Benjamin Button was just a pleasure, the way reading really good fiction is: for a few moments of your life, in a deeply comforting way, you become part of a world you swear you can almost touch.


  1. I think this is the first thing you've written about that I not only didn't like, but actively DISliked. I was so bored during this movie that I kept checking my watch. In the dark. But I'm glad you liked it so much!

  2. haha! amazing. well, at least this proves that we are not exactly the same person, which sometimes i begin to believe that we are.. :)

  3. We have to discuss Slumdog Millionaire because I was so, so disturbed by it as well. For like, a long time after I saw it.

  4. I'm adding this to netflix now! sorry I don't use blockbuster. I thrive on drive-up windows and online ordering.