First off, it's the folks at Empire Magazine again, hitting you with a full-swing exclusive first look at David Fincher's upcoming epic. Nev Pierce is the lucky writer of the piece, who got to watch the movie before all of us. And to say the least: The article makes it sound like he quite enjoyed the film!
"Fincher exercises his usual scrupulous control," Pierce comments, "creating a real world for this ridiculous conceit, ensuring the high concept does not dwarf the people. (...) It has a depth and grace to it you could barely anticipate."
Some may consider the review a bit spoilerish, so read with caution.
But do read it! -- It's great:
Empire Blog: Benjamin Button, World Exclusive
Todd McCarthy of Variety also has a thing or two to share about his experience watching the film, and while he feels the digital cinematography 'could have been warmer' in some instances, he has this to say about the directing:
"Fincher spends 13 minutes short of three hours telling this unique man's life story, and the time goes by easily, with no sense of dawdling, waste or indulgence. The film evinces a sure hand that maintains narrative confidence, steadiness of tone and a mature awareness of the temporal nature of life's opportunities and the fleeting quality of happiness."
Variety: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
The Hollywood Reporter sent Kirk Honeycott to an early christmas surprise, having him watch Fincher's latest and write the review. And above all I love his bottom line:
"['Benjamin Button' is] an intimate epic about love and loss that is pure cinema."
Quite contrary to other commentators, Honeycott sees the film anticipated by a large audience and predicts a strong box office -- which of course I truly wish for the film and its makers as well. Read here:
The Hollywood Reporter: TCCOBB Film Review
Now Sasha Stone, writing for AwardsDaily, is surely one, who must have loved "Benjamin Button" the most out of all the reviews I have read so far: "Benjamin Button is a soul-shattering creation", she writes. "It is an authentic bit of writing, straight from the heart of Eric Roth, who admitted during the Q&A that he’d lost his parents while writing the script. That kind of sentiment and heartbreak cannot be faked. That kind of inspiration is rare. Unfortunately for him it came at a great cost. Perhaps this is why the truth here, bare as it is, cuts as deeply."
I have not seen the film and so it is a rather foolish thing to say. But when I look at the basic premise of the film and its main themes that will spin out of the characters, I cannot help but think 'this will probably be the way I feel about the film'. Mrs. Stone is very enthusiastic about it and knows how to express it in such a way that makes you want to order a press pass and sneak into some other early screening!
"If I had to name the film that would probably have the best shot at winning Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Costumes, Art Direction", she says, "it would be this one"!
AwardsDaily: Benjamin Button Screening and Q&A
"It winds down on a note of melancholy that will break your heart", Steven Zeitchik of RiskyBiz describes the impact of the film's final hour. And what I loved about his review is another timeless great Fincher quote. When speaking about how dark and gloomy themes may have a hard time at the box office, Fincher chuckled:
Doomed romance has never looked this good, Zeitchik ends. Ditto for a big-budget, star-driven studio love story.
RiskyBiz: Button Down, Button Up
And all of these mostly outstanding, partly reserved reviews have to be seen in the face of one gigantic promotional catastrophy hitting the film last week: Paramount assembled movie critics from all over at the Director's Guild to let them have an exclusive sneak-peek at David Fincher's new film ... until 20 minutes into the film cinematographer Claudio Miranda ran out of the theater, yelling 'Abort! Abort!'. One of the three projectors, as it turned out, wasn't working -- which I so dearly beg will not happen when I will finally be able to sit down and watch this film.
Unlucky critics! -- Check out the full story here:
LATimes.com: The First 'Benjamin Button' Screening
His heighness, Alistair Harkness, of the Scotsman, returns with a little piece about the test screenings practices, catching up with Art Linson, David Fincher and others to talk about their opinions of the process. You do, of course, remember "Benjamin Button" was undergoing some of these test screenings in the summer. And if I recall correctly Fincher said something of the sort: If I had cut everything people said should be cut, the movie would have been 30 minutes long. But if I kept everything people said had to be kept, the movie would play well over 3 hours. So much for that. Read the article here:
The Scotsman: Theatre of the absurd
And to finish things up: "L'Étrange histoire de Benjamin Button" will be the french releasing title of David Fincher's and Brad Pitt's latest masterpiece, and our dear and diligent contributor Christophe has unearthed a photo gallery with some new images of the film. -- Thanks! Enjoy:
ecranlarge: L'Étrange histoire de Benjamin Button
Hey, and why not for the heck of it, let's collect the international titles of the film in the comments section!