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The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

December 24, 2008 at 10:35 AM | by | ()

It was a long time in the making--decades some say--but Brad Pitt's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" hits theaters tomorrow, just in time for awards season--and to challenge Tom Cruise's "Valkyrie" at the box office.

Pitt plays the title character, taken from an F. Scott Fitzgerald story about a man who ages backwards. The film follows his life from his birth in New Orleans in 1918 to the eve of Hurricane Katrina. Along the way, he falls in love with a ballerina (Cate Blanchett) and has a fling with a mysterious woman (Tilda Swinton) in Russia.

Directed by David Fincher ("Fight Club" and "Zodiac"), the film is getting good reviews for its light-handed use of computer effects and its epic story. We're of course more interested in its portrayal of New Orleans, Pitt's temporary hometown during filming and home to a number of curiosities:

Cocktail Curiosities: The Museum of the American Cocktail is just as much about booze as it is about old glassware, bar tools and drink manuals. (OK, maybe it's a little more about the booze.) But you'll never feel smarter while tipsy than when you attend a seminar about the origins of rum or the curious history of the Mai Tai.

Antique Alley: Rue Royal in the French Quarter is lined with antique dealers like Harris and MS Rau, where you can find furniture, art and gizmos like an English submarine sextant. (Just $2,850!) These shops are seriously expensive and full of honest-to-God, one-of-a-kind old stuff, but you can still browse around.

Mardi Gras Mysteries: Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World is a little hokey, but you're not gonna find more big heads and floats in the city unless you're actually there on Fat Tuesday. Half the fun is taking the free ferry across the Mississippi to get to the museum-slash-warehouse in Algiers. Tours are $17.50, but kids get in for a little less.

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· Movie Set Travel coverage [Jaunted]

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