Hollywood, Saturday: The premiere of the Warner Bros. movie, The Curious Case of Jenson Button, has been lauded by critics for so accurately capturing the epic rise and fall of one of Britain’s most disappointing modern sports stars.
The film, directed by Eric Roth and starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, documents the Formula One career of Jenson Button, the Englishman currently without a 2009 F1 drive as his Honda employers search for a buyer for their team. Otherwise known as “No, not Hamilton, the other one,” Button’s media profile has diminished somewhat in the last two years following the meteoric rise of another British Formula One driver.
Most Formula One drivers endure a slow start to their career, before gradually improving their performances as they gain technical knowledge and experience. In a reversal of this usual trend, the film’s title character (Pitt) bursts onto the scene in a blaze of publicity, success and promise, before slowly getting worse and worse as his career progresses. The film ends with Button trundling around at the back of the grid, being easily beaten by elderly and underperforming drivers.
Although the basic storylines have attracted near-unanimous praise, some purists have criticised the inclusion of spurious plot details, such as Button’s search for an absent father, and his constant female sidekick (Blanchett) who follows him for the film’s duration. “Everyone knows that in real life, Jenson’s dad never leaves his side. He used to be all over the telly back when Jense was good,” one Button enthusiast commented. “And the idea that one woman could stay interested in Jenson for any more than a couple of months is, given the historical evidence, frankly ridiculous.”
The film is slated for release in the UK some time in January.