Kamis, 02 Februari 2012

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button


In 2005, Daisy, an elderly woman, is on her deathbed in a New Orleans hospital. Daisy asks her daughter, Caroline, to read aloud from the diary of Benjamin Button. In 1918, Mr. Gateau, a blind New Orleans clockmaker, loses his son on the battlefields of France in World War I. As a way to deal with the grief, Gateau builds a large clock for the New Orleans train station, but fixes it so that the time goes in reverse. When asked why, Gateau states that maybe time will reverse and the men lost in the war—including his son—might come home again.

On the evening of November 11, 1918, a boy is born with the appearance and physical maladies of a very elderly man. The baby's mother dies shortly after giving birth, and the father, Thomas Button, abandons the infant on the porch of a nursing home. Queenie and Mr. "Tizzy" Weathers, who work at the nursing home, find the baby, and Queenie decides to care for him as her own.

In 1930, 12-year-old Benjamin, having exchanged a wheelchair for crutches, befriends six-year-old Daisy, whose grandmother lives in the nursing home. As Benjamin's body grows younger, he accepts work on a tugboat. Benjamin also meets Thomas Button, who does not reveal that he is Benjamin's father. In 1936, Benjamin leaves New Orleans with the tugboat crew for a long-term work engagement. He eventually finds himself in Murmansk, where he starts an affair with Elizabeth Abbott, wife of the British Trade Minister.
In 1941, while the tugboat crew is still in Russia, Japan attacks the U.S. at Pearl Harbor thrusting America into World War II. Mike, the captain, volunteers the boat to be a ship in the U.S. Navy and the crew is assigned to scrap collection duty. During a patrol, the tugboat stumbles upon a sunken U.S. transport and the bodies of hundreds of American troops. While surveying the carnage, a German submarine surfaces. Knowing his duty Mike steers the tugboat full speed towards the sub while a German gunner fires on the tugboat killing most of the crew including Mike. The tugboat rams the submarine causing it to explode sinking both vessels. The next day Benjamin and one other crew member are picked up by ships of the U.S. Navy.

In 1945, Benjamin returns to New Orleans, and learns that 21-year-old Daisy has become a successful ballet dancer. Benjamin again crosses paths with Thomas Button, who, terminally ill, reveals that he is Benjamin's father. Thomas wills Benjamin his possessions before he dies.

Daisy's dance career is ended in Paris in 1957, when she is hit by a taxi cab and breaks her leg. When Benjamin goes to see her, Daisy is amazed at his youthful appearance, but frustrated at her own injuries; she tells him to stay out of her life. In 1962, Daisy returns to New Orleans and reunites with Benjamin. Now of comparable physical age, they fall in love and move in together.

Daisy gives birth to a girl, Caroline in 1968. Benjamin, believing he cannot be a father figure to his daughter due to his reverse aging, sells his belongings and leaves the proceeds to Daisy and Caroline. He travels the world alone during the 1970s.

Benjamin, appearing to be in his early twenties, returns to Daisy in 1980. Now re-married, Daisy introduces Benjamin to her husband and daughter as a family friend. Daisy then visits Benjamin at his hotel, where they share their passion for each other. Daisy admits that Benjamin was right to leave; she could not have coped otherwise. Benjamin departs again.

In 1991, widowed Daisy receives a phone call from social workers. They have found Benjamin — now apparently about 12 years old — living in a condemned building, and have contacted her because they found her name in his diary. The bewildered social workers say that his condition resembles dementia. Daisy moves into the nursing home where Benjamin grew up and takes care of him as he becomes increasingly younger until, physically, he becomes an infant once more. In 2003, he dies in Daisy's arms remembering who she was. Benjamin's story now told, Daisy dies in her New Orleans hospital bed, as Hurricane Katrina approaches.

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Big Fish


At his son's wedding party, Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) tells the same tale he's told many times over the years: on the day Will (Billy Crudup) was born, he was out catching an enormous uncatchable fish, using his wedding ring as bait. Will is annoyed, explaining to his wife Joséphine (Marion Cotillard) that because his father never told the straight truth about anything, he felt unable to trust him. He is troubled to think that he might have a similarly difficult relationship with his future children. Will's relationship with his father becomes so strained that they do not talk for three years. But when his father's health starts to fail, Will and the now pregnant Joséphine return to Alabama. On the plane, Will recalls his father's tale of how he braved a swamp as a child, and met a witch (Helena Bonham Carter) who showed him his death in her glass eye. With this knowledge, Edward knew there were no odds he could not face.

Edward continues telling tall tales, claiming he spent three years confined to a bed as a child because his body was growing too fast. He became a successful sports player, but found the town of Ashton too small for his ambition, and set off with the misunderstood giant Karl (Matthew McGrory). Edward discovers the hidden town of Spectre, where everyone is friendly to the point of comfortably walking around barefoot. Edward leaves because he does not want to settle anywhere yet, but promises to a young girl named Jenny (Hailey Anne Nelson) that he will return. Karl and Edward begin working at a circus; Edward works without pay, as he has been promised by the ringmaster Amos Calloway (Danny DeVito) that each month he will learn something new about a girl he fell in love with (at first sight). Three years later, having only learned trivia about her, Edward discovers Amos is a werewolf. In return for his refusal to harm him in his monstrous state, Amos tells Edward the girl's name is Sandra Templeton (Alison Lohman) and she studies at Auburn University.

Edward learns Sandra is engaged to Don Price (David Denman), whom Edward always overshadowed during his days in Ashton. Sandra makes Edward promise not to fight Don. Don beats Edward up when he learns about his feelings for her, but this only disgusts Sandra into ending their engagement and falling for Edward. Edward later reveals that Don died from a heart attack on the toilet bowl at an early age (as Don saw in the Witch's eye). During his recovery, Edward is conscripted by the army and sent to the Korean War. He parachutes into the middle of a show entertaining North Korean troops, steals important documents, and convinces Siamese twin dancers Ping and Jing to help him get back to the United States, where he will make them stars. He is unable to contact anyone on his journey home, and the military declares him dead. This limits Edward's job options when he does return home, so he becomes a traveling salesman. Meeting the poet Norther Winslow from Spectre again, he unwittingly helps him rob a bank, which is already bankrupt. Edward suggests Winslow work at Wall Street, and Winslow thanks Edward for his advice by sending him $10,000, which he uses to buy a dream house.

Still unimpressed by his father's stories, Will demands to know the truth, but Edward explains that is who he is: a storyteller. Will finds Spectre, and meets an older Jenny (Helena Bonham Carter), who explains that Edward rescued the town from bankruptcy by buying it at an auction and rebuilding it with financial help from many of his previous acquaintances. Will suggests his father had been having an affair with Jenny, to which she replies that while she had indeed fallen in love with him, Edward could never love any woman other than Sandra. When Will returns home, he is informed his father had a stroke and is at the hospital. He goes to visit him there and finds him only partly conscious, and unable to speak at length. Since Edward can no longer tell stories, he asks Will to tell him the story of how it all ends: escaping from the hospital, they go to the river where everyone in Edward's life appears to bid him goodbye. Will carries his father into the river where he becomes what he always had been: a very big fish. Edward then dies, knowing his son finally understands his love of storytelling. At the funeral, Will sees many of his father's more unusual friends, including Amos, Karl, Ping and Jing, and Norther Winslow. Will realizes that his father's stories were true, only exaggerated, making Karl a giant (he is, in fact, 7'6") and making Ping and Jing conjoined when they are merely twins. When his own son is born, Will passes on his father's stories, remarking that his father became his stories, allowing him to live forever.

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