AO Scott Happy to Have Seen it

And so Christmas comes early with this NY Times review of Benjamin Button, which closes:

That power, though, is something to be reckoned with, and it resides in Mr. Fincher’s ability to use his unbelievable skills to turn an incredible conceit into a plausible love story. The romance between Daisy and Benjamin begins when both are chronologically pre-adolescents and Benjamin is, physically, a codger, but the initial element of pedophilic creepiness in the relationship gives way to other forms of awkwardness. Their love is uniquely perfect and enduring. At the same time, like any other love — like any movie — it is shadowed by disappointment and fated to end. In the case of “Benjamin Button,” I was sorry when it was over and happy to have seen it.

It has been surreal, watching how the critics have handled Benjamin Button because it brought to mind the whole point of critics, their role in the awards race and what it actually means to have a chorus of voices declaring a film good or bad. We all know that our own experience is as valid as anything. Yet, here we are in the business of trying to figure out the “best” from the rest. Critics come into play most in helping to distinguish this. But it comes at a cost.¬† Therefore, the critics, in the end, can be as frustrating as the Academy because no one gets to decide what is good and bad except those of us handing over our money, taking a ride, and deciding for ourselves.

Inevitable Pan

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