->''"For what it's worth; it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again."''

A short story by [[Creator/FScottFitzgerald F. Scott Fitzgerald]] that was later adapted into a successful 2008 movie directed by Creator/DavidFincher and starring BradPitt and CateBlanchett.

As Hurricane Katrina prepares to hit the city of New Orleans, former ballerina Daisy Fuller (Blanchett) is on her deathbed. She asks her daughter to read to her the diary of a man she once knew. This man, Benjamin (Pitt), then takes over the narration of his story.

In 1918, a baby named Benjamin Button was born, and his was a very curious case.

He is born an old, shrunken man and ages backward, becoming younger and younger over the years. Throughout his life, he experiences the changing times and meets many different people who help to shape his world.

The movie follows him along all the drama, romance, tears, and laughs that a man who ages backward could possibly have. Well, apart from the bits where he's young enough to enjoy life.
!!This film provides examples of:

* AdaptationExpansion: The original short story was a choppy 11-chapter farce (a meager 27 pages long). The film version turned that into a 3-hour dramatic epic. The story in turn was based on a brief remark by Mark Twain.
* AgeAppropriateAngst: Explored, as Benjamin's outlook on life is always sharply contrasted to what "age" he looks at the moment.
* ArcWords: "You never know what's coming for you," a phrase uttered by various characters that highlights one of the film's many themes, this one dealing with the surprises, the unexpected events in one's life that take someone in a different direction than planned. The phrase really describes Benjamin's entire life.
* BornAsAnAdult: Benjamin came out of the womb as an infant that had all the disabilities of an old man.
* BrickJoke: Elizabeth. She talks about how she tried to swim the English Channel once but wasn't able to, and that she never tried again. [[spoiler:She disappears from the hotel leaving only a vague note to apparently never be seen again. Then, much later on in the film, Benjamin sees her being interviewed on TV. What is she being interviewed for? Being the oldest person to swim the English Channel. (One of the film's main themes is how one can never be too old or too young to live your life.)]]
* [[CallingTheOldManOut Calling The Old Woman Out]]: Caroline when she discovers that [[spoiler: Benjamin is her father]] attempts it with Daisy by saying [[spoiler: "This Benjamin is my father and ''this'' is how you tell me?]]
* TheCaseOf: The title uses this template to suggest the bizarre and mysterious nature of the events.
%%* CelebrityResemblance
* DeathByAdaptation: Benjamin's mother survives in the short story, but not in the film.
* DeathByChildbirth: Benjamin's mother dies this way in the beginning of the movie.
* DoorstopBaby: After Benjamin's mother died giving birth, his father would abandon him on the doorstop of some random house.
* DoubleEntendre: Caroline asks Daisy if she wants her to skip the part of the diary where Benjamin talks about Elizabeth. Daisy remarks she's glad he found someone to "keep him warm" - as in both keeping him warm in cold Russia and keeping him warm before Daisy got to him.
* EverythingFades: [[spoiler:Benjamin in the short story, who is strongly implied just to disappear from existence in lieu of dying. The film changes this to Ben in the body of an infant dying comfortably in the love of his life's arms.]]
* TheFilmOfTheBook: Fitzgerald's story is a satire. The movie retains nothing of the story except for the title and the idea of a man ageing backwards.
* FramingDevice: The life of Benjamin is told by Daisy on her death bed to her daughter in the hours before Hurricane Katrina.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: They managed to get away with ''2'' F-words (while PG-13 movies normally only allow one).
* HeroesWantRedheads: Both Benjamin's love interests - Daisy and Elizabeth - are red haired.
%%* IAmVeryBritish: TildaSwinton as Elizabeth.
* InNameOnly: The Movie differs significantly from the original story.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Coupled with FridgeBrilliance. After all, if you were telling your life story you wouldn't have time to properly develop everyone significant in your life would you?
* LongLostRelative: Thomas Button, Benjamin's father.
* LoveAtFirstSight: ''"Mom, do you realize that this Benjamin loved you from the first moment he saw you?"''
* MadeOfIron: The guy that was struck by lightening ''seven'' times lives to a ripe old age.
* MagicRealism: How did he get born with such a Curious Case? In the short story it was explicitly stated to be caused by the backwards clock starting to spin the exact second he was born. In the movie, the relevance of the clock was only hinted at. As Katrina makes its way into New Orleans, [[spoiler: the clock starts moving backwards again...]]
* MayDecemberRomance: Benjamin and Daisy. Which progresses into a July-October, then an October-July, then December-May romance. But while Benjamin's body ages backwards, his mind still ages forwards, so he and Daisy, born around the same time, are always the same age "in spirit". Nevertheless, the only time that they really get intimate is the period in which they meet in the middle.
* MerlinSickness: Benjamin Button, obviously, and milked for every ounce of romantic tension and general drama they can wring out of it. Benjamin breaks up with the love of his life, Daisy, because she can't raise their child ''and'' the child he will soon become.
* MiniatureSeniorCitizens: Benjamin Button is a tiny old person, [[JustifiedTrope because he's a baby.]]
* NoNameGiven: The old woman who taught Benjamin how to play piano. He can't remember her name.
* PyrrhicVictory: The ''Chelsea'' crew defeat the German submarine by ramming it, but at the cost of the ''Chelsea'' and most of her crew.
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: Played straight most of the time, but averted in Ngunda Oti's backstory. [[ValuesDissonance (He once was held in the cage of a zoo!)]]
%%* PrepositionalPhraseEqualsCoolness
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: The ending of the movie uses the tune of Scott Joplin's ''Bethena''.
* RammingAlwaysWorks: During the brief time Benjamin's in WWII, the tugboat he's crew on rams and sinks an enemy U-Boat that had just sunk a troop transport. [[spoiler:The captain and several crew do not survive, shot by the U-boat's deck gunner.]]
* RedshirtArmy: During the WWII combat scene.
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: Everyone who finds out about Benjamin's condition decides it's best to keep it under their hat. This doesn't seem too hard to explain away for most of the movie (the only people who spend enough time around him to notice are his adoptive parents, his true love, and not-much-time-left retirees) but the doctor at the end when he's a child with dementia seems to work it out and tell no-one.
* RunningGag: [[OverlyLongGag "Did I ever tell you that I was struck by lightning seven times?"]] followed by sepia footage of the man being [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin struck by lightning]] on the particular occasion he just described. We only get to see five, though.
* SassyBlackWoman: Queenie, though she is good-natured and motherly as well
* SettingUpdate: The short story starts slightly before the UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, and Benjamin fights during UsefulNotes/SpanishAmericanWar. The film moves it forward a few decades, with Ben being born at the end of WWI and fighting in WWII instead.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Elizabeth is first only seen dressed in grey and from then on only in her nightwear. Then one night Benjamin comes downstairs to find her all dolled up.
* SheIsAllGrownUp: Played straight and inverted in the same scene. Benjamin sees Daisy as a young woman for the first time. She had previously seen him as a man in his 60s but he has now de-aged to his late 40s/early 50s. And the inversion comes again when [[spoiler: 50-year-old Daisy comes face-to-face with a Benjamin in his 20s, and sees how He Is All Grown ''Down'']].
* SirSwearsALot: Creator/DavidFincher in the DVD commentary uses a PrecisionFStrike it seems every chance he gets. In fact, he seems to swear more than the characters in the movie.
%%* SweetHomeAlabama
* StarCrossedLovers: Benjamin and Daisy, despite their [[{{OneTrueLove}} everlasting love]] for each other are destined not to be together because of Benjamin's condition.
* {{Symbolism}}: The hummingbird is supposed to represent time going backwards as it is the only bird in nature that can fly backwards. It also symbolises hope that Benjamin and Daisy will be together again as she sees a hummingbird in the final moments before she dies.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: They show a lot of the plot points.
* TruthInTelevision: Developing aspects of ageing at a young age is an actual genetic condition called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progeria progeria.]] However, it's not as severe as shown in the movie, with a child born resembling an old man, and people with the condition age forwards rather than backwards.
* VictoriousChildhoodFriend / UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Daisy is a weird mix of the two.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: Benjamin throws up at home after his father gets him drunk.
* WhatIfTheBabyIsLikeMe: Benjamin worries that he and Daisy's child will suffer from the same condition as him.
* YoungerThanTheyLook / OlderThanTheyLook: By large and obvious amounts, Benjamin is his own weird mix of these two. He starts out as an elderly looking man-child (a lot younger than he looks) and by the end [[spoiler:is a senior citizen with dementia inhabiting the body of a small child (radically older than he looks).]]