Sunday, January 4, 2009

At the Movies

Yesterday was a perfect day to go to the movies. Cold, very overcast, and a promise of slick roads later in the day. So, we decided to head to the movies in the afternoon. One of Gillian's friends also went with us.

Now, I must explain, it's been over a year since I've set foot in a movie theatre. Oh sure, I've watched lots of movies in the last year, but on DVD or Video on Demand. I haven't felt particularly motivated to go the the theatre, plunk down $6.50 for a matinee, and then pay another enormous amount for popcorn and drinks. Plus, so many of the movies coming out seem to be remakes of older, already classic movies! I swear, if they ever remake To Kill a Mockingbird...

But I digress (I seem to do that quite a bit!). There has been a movie I've been motivated to see, and this is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It's based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I saw previews for it on tv, and I was fascinated by the story, of a man who ages backwards, and the life he leads while living this curious life. I found the short story in a volume of Fitzgerald's short stories, and read it one day at work (shhhhh, don't tell!). It was remarkable! Sweet, touching, and heartbreaking. Probably one of the BEST short stories I have ever read. I decided I definitely needed to see the movie for two reasons: because it had the potential to be an epic, and because I wanted to see what they would do to the story. Would they stay true to it or somehow modernize it and put a current spin on the story?

I can only recall one movie that I actually enjoyed more than the book. Usually I'm disappointed with something left out, or the interpretation of something I had my own vision of, or the choice of actor for a role. But this time, although the movie is quite different from the short story, it stands next to the story as an equal.

Brad Pitt is Benjamin Button, and Cate Blanchett is Daisy, and they are extraordinary. The movie is almost 3 hours long, but it is so compelling it doesn't feel long at all. At times it is a sweeping epic, but other times it is a very personal and intimate recollection of Benjamin's amazing life. And the makeup in this movie is out of this world. Just amazing to watch the characters change throughout the movie.

If I had to wait a year to see a movie on the big screen, this was definitely the movie to end that wait. I HIGHLY recommend it.

1 comment:

Patti said...

I am like you, I would rather read the book first and then, maybe, watch the movie. I think reading the book is more exciting than watching a movie. Now that I have it from a very trusted source, I do believe I will watch this movie. There have been so many that I have been disappointed in that I don't care to see the movie. And it is sad that they ruin a perfectly good book into a movie that doesn't even follow suit!