A second trailer for the enigmatic feature film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, buzzed across the interwebs from Paramount headquarters yesterday. From the mind of David Fincher and based on the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the film twists the time traveller genre on its head with a story about a man who ages backward. With a cast that includes Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchette and Tilda Swinton, we journey with the central character from the close of the first world war into the 21st century, as he discovers love and the impermanence of life.
The first trailer was one of the best I’d seen for a long time. Better even, than the film it was attached to, when I first viewed it. With its epic strokes, ethereal sense of wonder, and amazing visual style that has dogtagged Fincher’s previous work in such films as Se7en and Fight Club, Benjamin Button has created enormous interest. (Watch that first trailer on the Apple site here and fall in love with the music from Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals”, if you haven’t already). But rumours about a burgeoning conflict between David Fincher and Paramount over the longer-than three hour length of the film and the general press reaction to the twenty minute screening at the Telluride Film Festival last month diluted that interest somewhat.
This trailer, for me, undoes those misgivings; presenting a beautiful film that has heightened my anticipation. I’ve not enjoyed Fincher’s work uniformly (the luke-warmly received The Game is one of my favourite films but Fight Club was a hollow cinematic experience, if a film I can admire). His last picture seemed to be a turning point – though earning less than the DVD sales of The Fight Club – Zodiac was lovingly devoured by critics. And that greater maturity seems to be spilling out here in Benjamin Button. The soundtrack is composed by the masterfully competent Alexandre Desplate (who, among many other filmscores, was behind The Painted Veil’s music, an imperfect but incredibly memorable soundtrack with it’s rhythmic passages, understated elegance, all funneled around lovely piano pieces). View the trailer in HD on the Apple site.