David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount, 12.25), which currently has default front-runner status whether it wants it or not (especially with so many presumed award-level films recently dropping out or getting vaguely trash-talked over the phone) will start to peek out sometime during the second week of November. The press event (i.e., not a “junket”) will happen in Los Angeles — New York journos will have to travel or they’ll be up shit creek. “The same precision and exactitude that Fincher invested in Zodiac, he uses here [but] in a warm and emotional vein,” says a guy who’s seen it.