Top 10 Tuesday: Brad Pitt Films
By Melissa Thompson and Michelle McCue
First man ever to be named “Sexiest Man Alive” twice by People Magazine (1994 and 2000), thrice nominated for acting Oscars for MONEYBALL, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON and TWELVE MONKEYS, producer of THE TREE OF LIFE and THE DEPARTED, and family man to the children he shares with actress Angelina Jolie, versatile actor Brad Pitt latest endeavor is this week’s wildly anticipated WORLD WAR Z.
Starring in, as well as producing WWZ, Pitt’s other starring vehicles have ranged from Greek hero Achilles in Wolfgang Petersen’s TROY to George Clooney’s forever-eating friend Rusty Ryan in Steven Soderbergh’s OCEAN’S 11, as well as superhero “Metro Man” in the animated MEGAMIND and Death in MEET JOE BLACK.
Gee-whiz, we even have a soft spot for his dead-beat – “Don’t condescend me, man” – Floyd in TRUE ROMANCE.
Presently Pitt is working on his next project, director David Ayer’s FURY, due for a 2014 theatrical release.
In April 1945, as Nazi Germany collapses, the five-man crew of an American tank, led by battle tested “Wardaddy” (Pitt), prepares for their deadliest mission into Nazi territory.
His name alone on the marquee guarantees box office success.
In his new role, Pitt embodies a Dad turned defender of the human race and Zombie hunter, and from the looks of the early reviews, WORLD WAR Z is being well received. It opened globally in England, France, Australia, South Korea and Germany earlier this month and IGN’s review called it “a big, sweeping – and fairly fresh – take on the age-old zombie genre.” Check out the photos from Monday night’s New York premiere HERE.
Before the film opens here on June 21st, we thought we’d have a look at Brad Pitt’s 10 Best Films. No list would be complete with the actor’s splash onto the big screen with THELMA AND LOUISE.
It’s not even fair to say how sexy Pitt was as smooth talker J.D. in Ridley Scott’s movie.
Pitt gave the term “white trash” a whole new meaning when he played serial killer Early Grayce in Dominic Sena’s KALIFORNIA. According to this encyclopedia of knowledge, Early states that once you move to the Golden State, “first month’s rent is free. State law.” Who knew?
The chemistry between homicide detectives David Mills (Pitt) and William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) was undeniable in David Fincher’s Se7en. This bar scene written by Andrew Kevin Walker was a discourse on the human condition made all the worse by Pitt’s devastating resolution at the film’s end. He transformed from a man into WRATH right before our eyes.
8. A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT
If there ever was a time when Pitt was the spitting image of Robert Redford, it was in this film when the actor played Paul Maclean in A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT. The hair, the twinkle in the eyes, the charming smile made a handsome combination.
As the General Manager for the Oakland A’s, Pitt made you fall in love with the game in Bennett Miller’s MONEYBALL. “How can you not be romantic about Baseball.” With a 2nd nomination as Best Actor as Billy Beane, we bet the farm that this likeable actor would be the one up at the podium at the 84th Academy Awards with the statuette in tow.
6. THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
Brad has us realizing that life is both interesting and difficult with many turns along the way in his the once-in-a-lifetime role of a man aging in reverse. Without a doubt, Pitt rightfully earned his first Best Actor Oscar nomination in David Fincher’s amazing THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON.
5. TWELVE MONKEYS
Subject – Mental Patient Jeffrey Goines. Think psychotic version of Tyler Durden in FIGHT CLUB… which we’ll get to in a moment. Seeing his first of three acting Oscar nods, Pitt’s jittery, hand-flapping motions in director Terry Gilliam’s apocalyptic film had us as well as The Academy convinced of the “The Army of 12 Monkeys”.
4. LEGENDS OF THE FALL
This one deserved a full length photo of Pitt as Tristan Ludlow. As he mourned in the family cemetery by the gravesite of his fallen brother, we cried right along with the grief-stricken Pitt in Edward Zwick’s epic LEGENDS OF THE FALL. Released in 1994, that scene along with the flowing locks of hair, still has us swooning some 20 years later.
3. FIGHT CLUB
While were sure Tyler Durden would be at the top of most Brad Pitt ” Best of ” lists, FIGHT CLUB found it’s way into the third spot. In David Fincher’s film, we became willing accomplices of Durden’s rules to “NOT talk about Fight Club!”
2. THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
The quietness of it. The stillness of it. The Assassination of Jesse James. Pitt’s understated performance made us empathize with the outlaw’s dignified death in Andrew Dominik’s THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD.
1. Inglourious Basterds
Nazi Hunter Lt. Aldo Raine demanded from his team “100 Nazi scalps” in Quentin Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. While this was quite the introduction to the merciless, unforgiving character, it was the final scene with Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz that solidified his performance for our Number 1 spot.
Yes, Brad Pitt has had his share of “fluff” movies. Thelma and Louise, Cool World, Johhny Suede. But these were early in his career and they were short-lived. Soon after, he proved his acting mettle with A River Runs Through It, Kalifornia, Interview With The Vampire, and Legends of The Fall.
These were the roles that got him noticed. Roles that made directors want to cast him because, not only could he fill seats with his matinee-idol good looks, but because he was quietly becoming a damn good actor. In Se7en, and 12 Monkeys, he made you believe he was Detective David Mills and mental patient Jeffrey Goines and he was rewarded with an Oscar nomination for the latter.
To his credit and Hollywood’s delight, Brad Pitt has since managed to float effortlessly between light, big budget, Hollywood, mass-appeal movies (Troy, the Oceans trilogy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) and more serious and interesting roles (Seven Years in Tibet, Fight Club, Babel and Killing Them Softly). There isn’t much doubt that an Oscar is in the very near future for Brad Pitt.