Brad Pitt

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Brad Pitt Pencil Portrait
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Last update:2/3/24

Personal taste, by its very definition, is an individual characteristic, and unsurprisingly therefore, public opinion about the unquenchable thirst for information about Brad Pitt and his then wife Angelina Jolie, was very much divided. For me personally, having viewed Clint Eastwood’s directorial work “The Changeling”, it became evident that Jolie is an actress of some considerable depth. Unfortunately, I’ve never managed to come to any firm opinion about her former husband. Jealousy? – not really, since I’ve never failed to comprehend the physical appeal for many women, of certain actors.

So what is it about Brad Pitt? For millions, he defines ‘blandness,’ and yet he has received a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and three Academy Award nominations in acting categories, and received two further Academy Award nominations, winning one, for productions of his film production company Plan B Entertainment.

Clearly he is a ‘Hollywood Heavyweight’ so let’s all agree that it’s ‘my problem.’ Better still therefore, to investigate – on that most superficial of levels – why we like certain stars whilst remaining unmoved by others.

Recommended listening

Recommended viewing

Meet Joe Black (1998)

Overlong and moving at a glacial pace in the eyes of many critics, it hardly seems possible that this movie could number amongst my top 25 movies, yet it most assuredly does.

Happy am I to report that, to my eyes at least, dear Brad escapes the shackles of nondescript blandness to record an utterly moving performance as “death.” The man himself, would not agree with me.

In a 2011 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pitt looked back on “Meet Joe Black” with a twinge of regret. “That was the pinnacle of my loss of direction and compass,” he said. It’s easy to understand why he’d feel that way, since the lion’s share of critics slammed his performance as Death with frosted tips. “I dogged it,” he added. “I miffed it. I shouldn’t have been there in the first place.” 

The premise of the movie is simple. Death takes the form of a young man killed in an accident, and asks a media mogul to act as his guide to teach him about life on Earth. In the process, and like the young man whose body he now inhabits, he falls in love with the mogul’s daughter.

Pitt’s seemingly aloof and clueless demeanour reflects his character’s unfamiliarity with the human world, in a nuanced portrayal of an otherworldly being trying to understand the human condition. If the actor cannot measure up to a real heavyweight like Anthony Hopkins, his performance is nevertheless one to savour.

The film’s pacing, despite its near three-hour runtime, is well executed. It allows the audience to fully immerse themselves in the story and its characters. Personally, I didn’t find the film “too long” or “too slow”. Everything served a purpose, whilst the length and pacing of the film allowed for added depth to the narrative and a more meaningful exploration of its themes.