The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (film)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a 2008 American fantasy drama film directed by David Fincher. The screenplay by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord is loosely based on the 1921 short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The film stars Brad Pitt as a man who ages in reverse and Cate Blanchett as the love interest throughout his life. The film was released in the United States on December 25, 2008.

Plot

In 2005, elderly Daisy is on her deathbed in a New Orleans hospital; she asks her daughter, Caroline, to read aloud from the diary of Benjamin Button. On the evening of November 11, 1918, a boy is born with the appearance and physical maladies of an elderly man. The baby's mother died after giving birth, and the father, Thomas Button, abandons the infant on the porch of a nursing home. Queenie and Mr. "Tizzy" Weathers, workers at the nursing home, find the baby, and Queenie decides to care for him as her own.

Benjamin learns to walk in 1925; he declares it a miracle, after which he uses crutches in place of a wheelchair. On Thanksgiving 1930, Benjamin meets six-year-old Daisy, whose grandmother lives in the nursing home. Later, he accepts work on a tugboat captained by Mike. Benjamin also meets Thomas Button, who does not reveal that he is Benjamin's father. In autumn 1936, Benjamin leaves New Orleans for a long-term work engagement with the tugboat crew; Daisy later gets accepted into a dance school in New York.

In 1941, Benjamin is in Murmansk, where he starts an affair with Elizabeth Abbott, wife of the British Trade Minister. That December, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, thrusting America into World War II. Mike volunteers the boat for the U.S. Navy; the crew is assigned to salvage duties. During a patrol, the tugboat finds a sunken U.S. transport and the bodies of 1,300 American troops. A German submarine surfaces; Mike steers the tugboat full speed towards it while a German gunner fires on the tugboat, killing most of the crew including Mike. The tugboat rams the submarine, causing it to explode, sinking both vessels. Benjamin and another crewman are rescued by U.S. Navy ships the next day.

In May 1945, Benjamin returns to New Orleans and reunites with Queenie. A few weeks later, he reunites with Daisy; they go out for dinner. Upon failing to seduce him afterward, she departs. Benjamin later reunites with Thomas Button, who, terminally ill, reveals he is Benjamin's father. Thomas wills Benjamin his possessions before he dies.

In 1947, Benjamin visits Daisy in New York unannounced, but departs upon seeing that she has fallen in love with someone else. In 1954, Daisy's dance career ends in Paris when a taxi cab crushes her leg. When Benjamin visits her, Daisy is amazed by his youthful appearance, but frustrated by her injuries, she tells him to stay out of her life.

In spring 1962, Daisy returns to New Orleans and reunites with Benjamin. Now of comparable physical age, they fall in love and go sailing together. Upon their return, they learn that Queenie has died; they move in together after the funeral. In 1967, Daisy has opened a ballet studio and tells Benjamin that she is pregnant; she gives birth to a girl, Caroline in spring 1968. Believing he cannot be a father to his daughter due to his reverse aging, Benjamin sells his belongings, leaves the proceeds to Daisy and Caroline, and departs the next spring; he travels alone during the 1970's.

Benjamin returns to Daisy in 1980. Now married, Daisy introduces him to her husband and daughter as a family friend. Daisy admits that he was right to leave; she could not have coped otherwise. She later visits Benjamin at his hotel, where they share their passion for each other. After saying their good-nights, Benjamin watches Daisy leave in a taxi from his window.

Sometime in the early 1990s, widowed Daisy is contacted by social workers who have found Benjamin — now physically a preteen. When she arrives, they explain that he was living in a condemned building and was taken to the hospital in poor health, and that they found her name in his diary. The bewildered social workers also say he is displaying early signs of dementia. Daisy moves into the nursing home in 1997 and cares for Benjamin for the rest of his life; in spring 2003, he dies in Daisy's arms. Daisy dies on her deathbed as Hurricane Katrina approaches.

Cast




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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