(Source: foxnews.com)     “Benjamin Button” is a lot of things: innovative, creative, technologically advanced. The trailer was so good that Oscar buzz started generating quickly. The result was almost like what happened to “Home for Purim” in the satire, “For Your Consideration.” Overnight, “Button” became the Oscar front runner.

Actually seeing it is a different story. Fincher has a lot of gadgets to play with. So Pitt’s early depiction of Benjamin, which takes up more than hour of the total three—that’s three—is a CGI process. Pitt’s head – made into that of an old man—is situated on a short, old man. The result is a synthetic character—a sort of geriatric Jar Jar Binks—matted into the movie.

But how else to do this? Benjamin is born a grotesquely wrinkled looking baby, but soon is about five-foot-five and an old man. “I’m seven years old,” he says at one birthday party. But he’s in his late 80s. You marvel at that Fincher and friends have accomplished this feat. Pitt’s head is a white haired balding orb set on top of a little person who is growing older by the hour. He’s Gollum from “Lord of the Rings” meeting Robert Redford, with a better wardrobe.

Strangely enough, there’s something very endearing about Pitt in this part of the movie. Setting aside the fact that he’s playing a CGI character, Pitt nearly succeeds in transcending the gimmick. He brings an unexpected pathos to Benjamin’s early life as he’s raised in a nursing home and watches the patients die off as he gets younger. (Almost what saves Pitt now as an actor is playing characters where his abnormal good looks aren’t a hindrance. See “Burn After Reading,” where’s he just great.)

What’s easy about praising “Benjamin Button” – which will be a holiday hit, no doubt, and an awards contender— is all the technical stuff. It sure looks great, all the time. The make up department has done a bang up job.

Full Press:    foxnews.com

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