The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

In theaters.

When I first saw the preview for director David Fincher’s new movie, I thought it was an adaptation of The Confessions of Max Tivoli, a novel I read (and disliked) several years ago. Of course, I was wrong about the preview. I learned later that novelist Andrew Sean Greer had lifted his premise from a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and it is that story that is dramatized in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

To be frank, though, I don’t see why Fitzgerald and Greer and Fincher and his screenwriters are all so enamored of the conceit of a person who ages backward, born in the body of a shriveled old man and gradually “growing down,” so to speak, to die as an infant. Beyond the obvious (and depressing) parallels between infancy and old age, I just don’t see what I’m supposed to get out of it.