Most helpful positive review
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
"This is the picture of Old Man Kangaroo..."
on March 10, 2009
At the close of WWI, a baby is born with a decrepit, aged body. His horrified father abandons him and little Benjamin grows up - and grows younger - in the boarding house of his loving foster mother. Over the next 85 years, he experiences life and love and grief, all while continuing to grow younger.
I liked this movie and thought it was very well made. It's long and meanders slowly through Benjamin's life, which is really pretty much like anyone else's life except that he was born old and then gets younger - a stretch of the imagination, but the aging is so well done that I could accept it. The episodic nature of the film made it seem like one of those movie trailers that shows a peek at an exciting scene then fades to black, shows another bit of excitement and fades to black, and it went on like that for 160 minutes. Since Brad Pitt's make-up is so convincing at many stages of life, I really only felt like it was him in one or two short vignettes when he appeared as his actual age (and then he was so handsome!). He gives a very touching and understated performance.
Cate Blanchett plays the young girl who meets him when he's old; their paths cross often over the years and they both meet in the middle at one point. She's very good and also ages convincingly to her eighties. The movie is a bit like "Forrest Gump" in that it shows America changing during one naive and vulnerable man's life. The theme is love enduring over the years and the inevitable losses we all face; I sobbed several times. It's a very thoughtful and gentle movie. Highly recommended.