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Eric Roth

The Case Against Sean Penn, and Other Oscar Picks

The Oscars have arrived, and with them the inevitable slew of so-called expert predictions. And though I find myself naturally curious, I must admit that my anticipation of Sunday evening’s ceremony has been subdued by lingering disappointment with some of the nominations. Put simply, my heart’s not entirely in it.

WALL*E should have been earned a nomination for best picture, as should The Wrestler. (A win for either would have suited me just fine.) Woody Allen’s strongest contribution in years was largely overlooked. And Bruce Springsteen, in the midst of a creative surge as strong as any in his career, managed to write a song for a movie (again, The Wrestler) without so much as a hint of recognition. Go figure.

The Unbearable Burden of Living Life in Reverse

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s farcical retort to the notion, espoused by Mark Twain, that the best things in life happen at the beginning and the worst at the end, demands a generous leap of the imagination. Fitzgerald dedicated roughly 25 pages to his whimsical tale of a man who begins life as a doddering senior and grows progressively younger. Here, director David Fincher and screenwriter Eric Roth attempt a bold re-imagining, using Fitzgerald’s premise as the foundation for a heartfelt rumination on the drawbacks of living life in reverse.

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