The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

“A Touching Tale That Suspends Reality” 10/10


The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is the touching tale of Benjamin (Brad Pitt) who is afflicted with a mysterious condition that sees him age in reverse.  As he slowly comes to terms with his condition he is drawn into the life of his childhood friend Daisy (Cate Blanchett) and is forced to face the tough reality of his reversed life.


The first thing that struck me about this film was how much the style is like Forrest Gump (1994).  Told as a narrative from an old Daisy and from the perspective of Benjamin the film plods through each and every point of note in Benjamin’s life, broken by moments of narrative reflection from Daisy in the present day much like Forrest sat on the bench outside the bus stop.  Benjamin himself is a sweet and likeable character with a touch of naivety throughout the whole film, in fair contrast with Daisy who is wild and vivacious.  The second thing that struck me was the quality of the make-up used to alter Brad Pitt’s appearance throughout the film – it is only rarely a little too obvious.  This sounds like a fairly trivial point but I actually feel it is one of the key things that makes this film so heartwarming – there is a genuine element to Benjamin’s character that would fall apart if his appearance was obviously fake.  It’s nice to see such a humble performance from Brad Pitt, and a strong performance from Cate Blanchett, another key point in making this film so strong.


If you can suspend your ideas of reality for over two and a half hours then you can really get lost in this touching tale of life and death.  I was really swept into the whole film and its bittersweet story.  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is one that will stick in your mind and in your heart, thoroughly recommended.


Filth (2013)

“Disturbingly Dark and Honest” 8/10

Filth is an in-your-face, raucous film about corrupt policeman Bruce (James McAvoy) determined that nothing and no one will stand in his way of a promotion which will help him win back his family. As he falls further into his web of lies and deceit he is drawn deeper into drug addiction which causes his life to spiral out of control.

I actually saw this film a few weeks ago and couldn’t really make up my mind about it until I’d really sat and thought about it. It’s so brutal and twisted and leaves you feeling like you’ve been slapped round the face when it ends. Yet, once you started thinking about it and strip all the punch out of it, it’s just very honest in dealing with some incredibly difficult topics that most films usually gloss up a little. It’s not afraid to hit you where it hurts and I was so impressed with the way it manages to be disturbing without being hugely offensive at the same time. As the story unfolds so does Bruce’s mind and there are some huge plot twists that really take you by surprise. James McAvoy is outstanding as the corrupt policeman – I haven’t seen much of his work and the few films that I have seen haven’t overly impressed me but his performance in this blew me away. The entire supporting cast is pretty strong too with some big names like Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan and Jim Broadbent, as well as some smaller names, but McAvoy really does steal the limelight from start to finish.

Filth is disturbingly dark and honest, almost a little too much, which is why I didn’t rate it higher. It did its job of unsettling me to the point where I had to sleep on it for ages before making up my mind about how I would review it. Definitely worth a watch but prepare to be unsettled right from the very first minute.