“The Curious Case” Pushes Pitt and Blanchett’s Buttons

By Mary Montserrat-Howlett

HOLLYWOOD (RushPRnews) 05/01/09–Come Oscar time, David Fincher’s adaptation of great American writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1921 short story, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, about a man who ages in reverse, stands more than a good chance at winning Best Film at the 2009 Academy Awards. Using his father’s own death as a mechanism for telling the story, Fincher (Fight Club) told RushPRnews “This was a movie that was about how people behave towards one another and the way people speak to one another in their death beds or even when babies are born. The task was to make this movie as much like life as I could.”

The wonderful story that moves back-and-forth through time, is told at the onset of hurricane Katrina and the film chooses its moments wisely. With enchanting performances by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, who come together again, after their leading roles in 2006’s “Babel”, “The Curious Case” had its cast reflecting on their own views of life and death.

“Benjamin’s infliction is something most of us can feel; as an outsider, in your formative years, as you figure out who you are and what kind of person you want to be,” Brad Pitt, (who plays the role of Benjamin), told RushPRnews. “To me, it made me very conscious that there’s a ticking clock and it made me question “how much time do I have?”

Cate Blanchette’s role as Daisy, also imparted the actress with some new found wisdom. “The reason I wanted to be involved in this story, apart obviously from the director, was that it seemed utterly impossible. It is the K2 experience of acting- I think if you read the script you think: “I know exactly how it would be; I know exactly how I would play this.” You have a duty of care to your “so-called” artistry, to put the script aside and look for something else, and so the process of making the film was a little like preparing for a good death. You have to do it minute by minute. You really had to assess your own life and put aside the rest.”

Taraji P. Henson, who plays the role of Queenie, was strongly affected by her character. “I thought that was such a bold choice to make her African American. Queenie, to me, is the embodiment of unconditional love. This woman is surrounded by death and here this baby is, left on her doorstep, white and wrinkled, but she’s able to see past that and doesn’t think twice about it.”

Henson felt a true connection to her character in that she too is a mother and, she jokes: “Not to take anything away from The Man, I just think that that is a gift innately in women because we do give birth. We are the ones that carry the baby and we risk our lives, basically to give birth- We teach our men how to love- if I could be so bold.”

With his own six children and the pressures of a demanding schedule, Pitt comes to terms with what really matters in the unraveling of this story. “It made me think of many things. It made me look at people differently. It reminded me that everyone has a story. We go about our day, we keep our heads up, we carry some extraordinary moments with us and that carries through to human existence and human life.”

“The Curoious Case of Benjamin Button” is a film that brings together all the components of life, no matter what order they come.