On David Fincher

Saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttonthe night after Christmas down on Broadway. France gets movies way late most of the time – L’Etrange Histoire de Benjamin Button won’t be out in Paris till February 4 – and so I was determined to see as many flicks as time allowed while in NYClast month. That meant Cadillac Records, Doubt, The Saint (walked out; sorry Frank) and Fincher’s latest.

I’d been warned about the Forrest Gump feel to the movie, so I wasn’t put off. The running joke about the elderly guy struck by lightning totally did not work for me, but I expected the movie to be kinda middle-America corny from the beginning. Oscar worthy? Well, super-populist. Oscar worthy only if Forrest Gump was really Oscar worthy, though I think sometime-France-resident Brad Pitt deserves one just in general.

I don’t rush to the movies for David Fincher films, but I seem to have seen nearly all of them anyway: The Game (nice little mindfuck there), Se7en, Panic Room, Fight Club (how 9/11-prophetic was that ending?), Zodiac. That last was a little too cerebral for the average moviegoer, so he’s mining Spielberg sentimentality with Benjamin Button for his first real PG-13 family movie. Very Titanic, very Forrest Gump. I haven’t seen something like this in a while, I was beginning to think movies didn’t come in this model anymore for better or worse.

For those that don’t know, Brad Pitt ages in reverse with the help of believable CGI, but I didn’t feel I got my $12.50 worth (god, $12.50… when did that happen?) till he started to turn younger. When Pitt looked Botoxed for his late teenage phase, the film had me.

Here, though, I’ve got to publicly disagree with my man George from the 360hiphop days: Taraji P. Henson’s role is – I repeat – nothing for Academy votes, it’s totally on the Gone with the Wind tip. (Though, I know, Hattie McDaniel got an Oscar.) And yes, other people do feel this way. Loved Tilda Swinton though.