When he’s not eating, Brad Pitt’s killing it on the screen – here are his best roles.
Since taking his top off and introducing the world to his abs in the 1991 film Thelma and Louise, Brad Pitt has often been viewed as a Hollywood heart-throb. Despite also being a great actor, the sex symbol label has stuck to him. With World War Z set to hit screens today, we seek to remind the world of his acting/eating talent, with a list of his five best performances. There is another fantastic performance which deserves a look; however certain rules forbid even mentioning that movie.
5. Benjamin Button in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
What could have been a pretentious film is saved by a great turn by Pitt. The story revolves around the eponymous Button, who is born as an elderly man and ages in reverse, constantly becoming younger and handsomer. Pitt plays Benjamin Button as a simple and thoroughly good man. A lot like Forrest Gump.
4. Billy Beane in Moneyball
When an actor can somehow manage to make a movie about baseball and spreadsheets interesting, you know he’s good. Beane is saddled with trying to drag a failing team out of financial ruin and looks to a young economics graduate (played by Jonah Hill) to take a statistical approach to recruiting new players. The laid-back yin to Hill’s uptight yang, Pitt exudes charm and strength in an effortless performance most actors can only dream of giving.
3. Chad Feldheimer in Burn After Reading
Proving he could make us laugh in the Coen brothers’ espionage comedy, Brad Pitt provides us with one of the greatest cinematic buffoons of recent times. Mistaking an ex-CIA employee’s bank records for sensitive government information, he hatches a convoluted extortion plan. Shallow, clueless and completely sure of himself, it’s hard not to like a character when the actor playing him is clearly having this much fun.
2. Jesse James in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Making idiots likable is one thing, but making gruff criminals likable is another. Channelling the spirit of Clint Eastwood in the Outlaw Josey Wales, Pitt portrays the legendary robber and folk hero of the Old West as a confused man in the final years of his life. Its a quiet, understated performance with a well of anger and wisdom bubbling beneath the surface, as James takes hopeless fanboy Robert Ford (Casey Affleck) under his wing. If the title isn’t a big enough indication, spoiler alert - it doesn’t end well.
1. Mr O’Brien in The Tree of Life
In a similar vein to Jesse James, this is another testament to Pitt’s talent for playing essentially unlikable characters with grace and subtlety. Playing a strict father raising his sons in 50s America, what could have easily been a harsh monster of a father figure is giving humanity by Brad Pitt’s performance. This is a man trying to prepare his sons for life the best way he knows.
Featured image: Relativity Media
Pictures: Warner Bros. Pictures; Scott Rudin Productions; Relativity Media; Virtual Studios; River Road Entertainment