I've really got this movie on my mind today.
I liked The Curious Case of Benjamin Button more than the average person, it’s been on my mind quite much recently too, as you probably guessed from my nostalgic waxing. Like so many good films, it remains as proof that a long film is never necessarily a boring one. I like essentially everything in it, but Cate always stands out as my favourite part, and a favourite moment of mine depends on her. It occurs just a few moments after her first date with Benjamin where she’s at her most loquacious. But it’s the moment just after that always thrills me. As she lifts herself up onto the gazebo she says,
Dancers…don’t need costumes or scenery. I could imagine dancing completely naked…
Cate is so in touch with the immaturity of Daisy, I’m amazed that the film is so recent. The impetuous young dancer is really just showing off for Benjamin as she does her moves.
Have you read D. H. Lawrence? His books were banned. The words are like making love…
I love Cate’s reading of that piece in particular; it’s so indolent, as if she’s actually languishing in Lawrence’s words.
The lean in for the kiss that doesn’t come is lovely, and as so much with Benjamin Button it’s always thrilling to notice the effective makeup and special effects, even when they’re not the focus.
In our group, you have to trust…not be afraid…sex…is a big part of it…a lot of the dancers are lesbians. A woman wanted to sleep with me once.
It’s to Cate’s credit that we don’t find Daisy completely juvenile at moments like these. We need to be caught up in the radiance of Daisy, complete with the iconic red dress from designer Jacqueline West – and we are. I love the quiet show of emotion from Brad when she asks him,
Does that upset you?
It’s not his greatest performance, but he’s completely effective as Benjamin.
People should want to sleep with you. You’re desirable.
He too works hard here, though not as officiously. Why doesn’t Benjamin take up Daisy’s invitation? They’re both adults. He manages to make the rebuff, less so, and more of an act of believable maturity from Benjamin.
Go back to New York, Daisy…be with the people you are so fond of…You can only be young once…
As Cate dejectedly picks up her shoes and stalks off I’m always moved to wonder how a scene with no actual physical contact between the leads always seems so sensual.