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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at the Oscars

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  • Asgaroth
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    #139714

    If Slumdog Millionaire had never existed, would this one have easily won the top price since it was thought to be the runner-up?

    Would
    the Academy have embraced a movie of this nature with a
    fantasy/poetic/allegoric plot as the central one? Or would they have
    gone with one of the more realistic other options Frost/Nixon, Milk and
    The Reader?

    Did it deserve much more love than what it actually got (“only” 3 wins for 13 nods and none of them from a major one)?

    And was Cate Blanchett leading or supporting?

    For me this movie is strange. I know it’s indeed not perfect, mainly due to the excessive length and
    slow-pacing that kind of bores you somewhere in the middle. But
    for some reason I just can’t stop watching it till it ends. It absorbs you. And after
    watching that intensely melancholic final act you just can’t come back
    to reality not having a feeling of loving life and of appreciating every
    single second of it. Besides, that haunting score of Desplat totally submerges you in the story. For me it’s one of his best.

    Yes, Slumdog Millionaire also is a
    feel-good-go-out-and-love-life movie. But I don’t know, for me Benjamin
    Button communicated this message in a more serious heavyweighted way, in
    comparison with Slumdog which I feel was lightweighted. Maybe that was
    it’s best advantage over Benjamin Button, asides the fact it had a
    realistic plot; the cheerful and optimistic atmosphere where it ends, in
    comparison with the more gloomy one Button does.

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    TomHardys
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    #139716

    Maybe I’m going to be crucified by saying this but I absolutely hate Slumdog Millionaire. Either Milk or Benjamin Button would be a better choice imo.

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    Tom
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    #139717

    I really liked The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was my personal winner that year. I feel that seems Kate Winslet could go lead at the Oscars but get in supporting in some precursors then Cate could have done the same. My personal rankings for that year in the BP race were:

    1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    2. Slumdog Millionaire
    3. The Reader
    4. Frost/Nixon
    5. Milk 

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    Anonymous
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    Jan 1st, 1970
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    #139718

    My rank were:
    1. Slumdog Millionaire
    2. The Reader
    3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    4. Frost/Nixon
    5. Milk

    I think Blanchett was robbed.

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    Benedick
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    #139719

    My guess is Milk would have won.

    But I love The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. For me it displays Fincher craft near the same level as The Social Network. It’s a strange and beautifully told story, though I could have done without the Hurricane Katrina framing device. Cate Blanchett should have been a nominee for Best Actress.
     

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    Icky
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    #139720

    That was the weakest BP line-up in quite some time. The Wrestler, WALL-E and The Dark Knight being snubbed for these flicks seem even more ridiculous today than at the time. Frost/Nixon was my favorite of the bunch, followed by ‘Slumdog’, which was colorful, fun entertainment, though nothing I’d want watch again. I’m guessing Milk or Frost/Nixon would have won with no ‘slumdog’ in the mix. ‘Curious’ had too many gimmicks working against it. I do think Fincher would have won Director.

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    Eddy Q
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    #139721

    I think Milk would’ve won without Slumdog, it had 8 nominations, which is more than you’d expect, and important subject matter. It might’ve been seen as the Academy covering their bases after Brokeback lost, especially as it had more of a political theme that didn’t make certain voters feel as uncomfortable as Brokeback did. I also think Gus Van Sant would’ve won over Fincher. Benjamin Button was too divisive, despite all those nominations, most of which were a given anyway because the film’s technical achievements were undeniable.

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    pacinofan
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    #139722

    This was probably the weakest line-up of best picture nominees since 1988 which was the first year as a kid I started to take this Oscar watching seriously. “The Reader” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” were both dull as all hell (if I had to choose one to watch again I guess I’d go with “The Reader” because it is shorter and full of nudity), “Frost/Nixon” was well acted but not much of an achievement of film craft, and “Slumdog Millionaire” was really no more than a visually jazzed up Indian gangster film but the style lacked substance and did not always fit the material. Danny Boyle can be a great visual film-maker but has put his skills to much better use in “Millions”, “127 Hours”, “Shallow Grave” and especially “Trainspotting” which is his masterpiece. The only best picture nominee from that year that was also on my top ten list was “Milk” and I do not even think it was that high on my list. My top two films that year were “WALL-E” and “Waltz with Bashir” and my top ten list was full of foreign language films and documentaries.

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    DominicCobb
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    #139723

    I think there might be a wild card at play here. If Slumdog had never existed (or went straight to DVD as originally planned), there would be a slot open for The Dark Knight. Is there a chance that it could have gained some momentum and took the top prize? I wish. But maybe, TDK, with all its tech noms, would take some voters away from Benjamin Button. So while that was definitely the runner up, maybe it wouldn’t have been in a race like this. So maybe Milk.

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    Eddy Q
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    #139724

    WALL-E and Waltz with Bashir were my favourites as well. There’s a thread about whether an animated film will ever win Best Picture – should’ve been then. And I agree that The Reader and Benjamin Button were undeserving – both took very safe, risk-free approaches to potentially daring source material. It was a huge comedown from the excellent lineup from the previous year.

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    Manu L
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    #139725

    Call me crazy, but I actually think “WALL-E” would have taken Slumdog’s feel-good movie slot and the race would have been WALL-E vs. Milk for the win.
    In spite of its massive nomination tally, most people where underwhelmed by Benjamin Button, it was never going to win. 
    My personal ranking:
    1. Milk
    2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    3. Slumdog Millionaire
    4. Frost/Nixon
    5. The Reader 

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    Anonymous
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    #139726

    Well I think all WALL-E, The Wrestler and The Dark Knight were terrible.

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    jdbecker78
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    #139727

    1.  Slumdog Millionaire
    2.  Milk
    3.  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    4.  The Reader
    5.  Frost/Nixon

    I thought this was a great lineup.  I enjoyed all of the nominated films. 

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    Renaton
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    #139728

    If Slumdog hadn’t existed, I would bet on Milk. It was the only film to have won something on all big four big critics groups, and took Film on NYFCC. I also believe the Brokeback controversy would’ve helped it, especially as the film being more focused on the political side rather than pshysical sex scenes would make easier for the academy to allow a victory to happen. Prop 8 also made the film especially relelvant at the time.

    I don’t really believe Button had a shot to win any of the categories that Slumdog won, expect maybe Director.  

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    Anthony
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    #139729

    I was hesitant at the time, but I have no shame in saying that I really hated Slumdog Millionaire. It had moments of style and a couple of sequences I found that were well directed but otherwise I saw no value in it.

    Of the nominees, I LOVED Milk and thought it should’ve won in a landslide. I also really liked Frost/Nixon and Benjamin Button…I found The Reader to be solid, but inconsistent.

    WALL-E and MILK were my two favorite films that year with Happy-Go-Lucky close behind. 

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