David Fincher recently released a longer trailer for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a bewitching, sepia-kissed romance-drama starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Camille Saint-Saën’s wistful, whimsical “The Aquarium” scores the longer clip; it’s a track that would fit effortlessly into the Tim Burton oeuvre, and surprisingly feels at place here too. Yes, this is a radical departure for the Fight Club and Zodiac director, who is indeed prone to mystery and wonder with regard to blood-and-guts—which are conspicuously absent here, save some tasteful Private Ryan-esque interludes. The movie, based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald story, is about an orphaned man/boy who ages backwards. Fincher gives us a traveling slideshow of his Pitted marvels: Button as a brittle old man (shout-out to the makeup artist!); Button weirding-out a woman of ill repute; Button fighting on the frontlines; Button, topless, checking himself out in the mirror; and of course Button looking all strapping as he courts the graceful Blanchett. (Pitt doesn’t exude much here, but then if you saw his exaggerated performance in Burn After Reading, consider this sweet mercy.) It ends gently with a melancholic feeling of certain doom, a nuance hereto unknown to Fincher—which we welcome since he hasn't gone all Notebook on us. In case you didn’t realize it, Button also has a leg-up in its mini-competition with long-delayed The Time Traveler’s Wife movie about a dude (Eric Bana) who jumps around randomly in time, courting his wife (Rachel McAdams) at different ages. Of course, Pitt comes out a winner either way, since he stars in Button and his Plan B Entertainment is producing the latter. Meanwhile it's looking more and more like we won't be needing a movie based on the lovely, lady-friendly, aging-backwards best-seller The Confessions of Max Tivoli. Or at least anytime soon.
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