You can’t watch Coen Bros comedies? Wow! I think they’ve created the best comedy of all time (The Big Lebowski). Ok, Intolerable Cruelty and Ladykillers were not so good but everbody makes mistakes. They are the best on weird characters and witty dialogs, imo.
Pitt’s often just performing “Brad Pitt” in his film roles (and, perhaps, outside of film as well). Sometimes it works, some time it doesn’t.
You can compare Pitt to Ben Stiller, but you can’t compare him to Steve Martin, who actually has talent. Pitt’s been in some decent films, but not because of his acting, but because of his bankability. Anyone with a decent face and a good voice can remember lines, but can they make a character memorable?
Serdar – What I dislike most about Coen brothers comedies is they just try too damn hard to be quirky and witty, as if they’re saying, “Hey! Look at us! We can be eccentric, aren’t we cool and hip?” Not!
He comes and goes. Although I haven’t seen “Jesse James,” I can certainly give him credit for “Burn After Reading,” to a degree “Benjamin Button,” “Fight Club,” and certainly “Babel.”
Yeah, I agree with whoever said that Pitt just plays himself. It’s because he has just a natural charisma that the roles he plays are interesting, he’s never really “acted” per se. He chooses a wide range of projects which is to his credit. He has some emotional quirks that work, so he’s capable of showing effective emotion when the time is right (as opposed to Johnny Depp who is practically devoid of any serious/realistic emotion). Assassination Jesse James wasn’t bad though he didn’t really do much other than recite lines with very minimal emotion and Babel allowed him to expand a little bit.
Actually I found him most interesting as the “pikey” in Snatch. He was spot on with that, heh.
He was great in Babel..
I didn’t feel one way or another until Jesse James and Babel
Oh, GOD, the unspeakable horror of MEET JOE BLACK. I want my three hours back.
He’s not bad. I won’t skip a movie just because he’s starring.
On the other hand, though, I won’t seek out a movie just because he’s starring.
>>Oh, GOD, the unspeakable horror of MEET JOE BLACK. I want my three hours back.<,
I feel your pain. But it was mostly Anthony Hopkins’ deer-in-the-headlights performance that sank it for me. OK, the script was dreadful, too. Pitt was great … and I really did feel he was tasting peanut butter for the first time from his reactions. I also thought he was perfect in conveying the cascade of emotions at the climax of SE7EN.
>>My friend from Belfast said Pitt’s accent in Devil’s Own was spot on.<<
Now there’s something I would not have known. But it only adds to my appreciation of his abilities.
“Oh, GOD, the unspeakable horror of MEET JOE BLACK. I want my three hours back.”
Heh – The world’s most cerebral chick flick.
i can’t understand how we have kept a thread discussing Brad Pitt and Louis Garrel doesn’t have one of his own,gradually a 1000 times better actor than people like Pitt are or would ever dream to be from the modern generation…
Lester…I’m not comparing any of those actors.
Oh no, you just gave me unpleasant flashbacks of watching Meet Joe Black.
It might be up for debate whether Pitt is a good actor (imho, he’s pretty decent), but come on—you can’t put him in the same league as Keanu. That’s just not fair.
Btw, actors (unlike directors) should be judged more by their best work than their worst work, since even some of the deities of acting have appeared in some craptastic movies. So I can forgive Pitt for Meet Joe Black. (Ack, more flashbacks!) Finally, if my memory is functioning properly, I think he was pretty good in Kalifornia as a white trash psychopath.
THe best that can be said of Pitt is that he is often competent, which certainly cannot be said of Keanu. But Pitt can never reach the heights of a Sean Penn or a Johnny Depp: he’s just not on their level. That’s not a problem, necessarily, as few actors are on that level. But way way too often I sit there in agony listening to those flabby line readings and dull monotones or, worse, his attempts at doing something “different” as in his nearly unwatchable work in TWELVE MONKEYS.
When he wants to be.
>>you can’t put him in the same league as Keanu. That’s just not fair<<
No it isn’t. Their approaches to the craft are very different. Pitt goes more for a realistic performance where the acting is “invisible” – Depp is usually a more obvious & showy actor. Comparing the two is like comparing Spencer tracy & John Barrymore.
They can be compared in that they both have delivered some of the most staggeringly bad performances in film history. Pitt’s performance in TROY and INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and the unspeakable MEET JOE BLACK, to say nothing of the horrific BENJAMIN BUTTON are very definitely Keanu-esque.
“They can be compared in that they both have delivered some of the most staggeringly bad performances in film history.”
Really? In film history? That’s a little bit of a stretch. Albeit, they have both given some bad performances(although I wouldn’t put TCCOBB as one of Pitt’s worst) but they’re not even close to grazing the surface of meriting “the most staggeringly bad performances in film history”. To Pitt’s defense, he’s also given some wonderful performances in films such as A River Runs Through It, Twelve Monkeys, and the fine The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
I stand by what I wrote. Some of the most staggeringly bad performances in film history. Yep. I can’t think of anything more agonizing than Pitt’s big scene with Peter O’Toole in TROY or his appalling nonsense in INTERVIEW.
Some of the most staggeringly bad performances in film history. As bad as anything ever captured on film. Anytime. Anywhere.
Ed Wood himself would have demanded retakes of that unintentionally hilarious scene in TROY.
“Some of the most staggeringly bad performances in film history. As bad as anything ever captured on film. Anytime. Anywhere. Ed Wood himself would have demanded retakes of that unintentionally hilarious scene in TROY.”
It’s comments like this that make me wonder if you even care for your opinion to be taken seriously at all.
“To Pitt’s defense, he’s also given some wonderful performances in films (etc.)”
It’s comments like this that make me wonder if you even care either.
I always get incredibly confused when I hear cinephiles speak with such certainty about acting. I’ve personally heard different crowds… some very cinema-focused, some very mass-audience, some in-between… all come to a consensus about a certain performance, and then I’ve heard another discussion group come to the opposite consensus with just as much dismissive certainty. I’ve come to think of myself as painfully underqualified to judge acting.
For me, there are brilliant performances, where an actor sheds their own identity entirely to become a great character. These are few and far between, but I’d say Ledger’s Joker is an example… and maybe Edward Norton in American History X (flashbacks especially). Of course, there are terrible performances, where the actor just seems like an automated voice-box reading the lines without any investment, or with the wrong investment entirely (Keanu Reeves in The Lake House: “It’s beautiful. Seductive, even.”) However, these are very rare in Hollywood movies, as well… I only see them in B-movies and bad indie flicks.
Aside from the few diamonds and the total disasters, I generally see all Hollywood acting as being decent, effective, and pretty much in line with the script. Benjamin Button was really that bad? Seriously? Pitt chewed a lot of scenery, but everything about the film was melodramatic, so can we really call the acting a travesty when taken in context? In fact, I see pretty much all of Brad Pitt’s acting as standard, decent, high-level Hollywood acting.
If anyone can tell me where their criteria comes from (ROSCOE?), or why the agreement on this topic seems so loose… or what to look for, or where to find taste-defining acting moments… please go for it. I’m doing my best to learn the history and the craft, and this thread represents an area where I feel rather deficient.
Folks, they’re just opinions. Find just about any generally accepted masterwork, and you’ll find someone who doesn’t like it. I like all kinds of performances, from Daniel Day Lewis’ Daniel Plainview in THERE WILL BE BLOOD to the brilliantly understated work of Robert Duvall in TENDER MERCIES. There’s no particular rhyme or reason to it. There are wildly extravagant performances I love (Johnny Depp in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, Day Lewis in THERE WILL BE BLOOD, Barrymore in TWENTIETH CENTURY) and there are wildly extravagant performances I detest (Pitt in TWELVE MONKEYS, William Hurt in A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE). There are delicately shaded understated performances I love (Robert Duvall in TENDER MERCIES, Juliette Binoche in SUMMER HOURS) there are delicately shaded understated performances I detest (insert Kevin Spacey performance here).
I find Mr. Pitt’s performances to be, in the main, dull and uninspired. He’s certainly extraordinarily photogenic, and can be occasionally convincing in lighter fare where he’s basically required to stand there and be beautiful. His work in BENJAMIN BUTTON was, to me, really that bad. Benjamin Button is after all a freak of nature. He is fully aware of his difference, and aware of how it might be seen by others, and a certain emotional reserve might be an interesting starting point for an actor to build a performance on. For Pitt, this reserve is the final destination, the beginning middle and end of his attempt at a performance. It isn’t just a matter of the digital tweaking to make him look older or younger. There’s just nothing there. His voice is a flat uninflected monotone. His eyes are unlit with any sign of life. Tens of millions of dollars worth of CGI aging technology and a battery of technicians can’t add life where Pitt doesn’t. Just watch what happens when the sublime Tilda Swinton appears onscreen with Pitt. She lights up the screen in a way that poor old Brad just can’t come near, and quite simply obliterates him. It could be argued that Swinton’s performance is also the one in the film least affected by CGI and latex, but it is more than that. She steals the film by sheer acting ability alone, showing more humanity in one single smile than the rest of the film is able to summon in its entirely indefensible three hour running time.
To the majority, films such as A River Runs Through It, Twelve Monkeys, Seven, Fight Club, Babel, and The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford are considered decent to very good films- and all are starring Brad Pitt in one of, if not, the lead role and by being in the lead role, he is carrying the majority of the emotional weight upon his shoulders. It is he that we spend the majority of time watching and observing in those films mentioned. Now perhaps films with Brad Pitt aren’t of your taste, and that’s fine. Agree to disagree. But the comments such as the ones you’ve written in recent posts, for me, hark back to my time reading posts of others on the message boards at IMDB, which is why I don’t post there anymore. I expect better insight and choice of words here.
Back to BP- Is he a good actor? Yes. Is he one of the best in film right now? One of the elite, so to speak? No. And I agree that he has given some rather sub-par performances in films like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, etc. You mentioned Troy, but EVERYONE was bad in Troy. And there was a lot of talent in that film, as well. Peter O’ Toole, Brenden Gleeson, Sean Bean, Julie Christie are but some of the talent that was wasted in Wolfgang Petersen’s debacle. You want to go for "staggeringly bad performances in film history’? Then look no further than Troy to find the dreaded Orlando Bloom, who I would put down as one of the worst actors in film this past decade. Bloom has an uncanny ability it seems to take any project he is in and bring it down to his level. What he did to Kingdom of Heaven still upsets me to this day.
SKG, it is your opinion that Brad Pitt is a good actor. It is my opinion that he is not a good actor. They’re all just OPINIONS. Mine are admittedly rather strongly worded, but I’ll stand by them. I think that Pitt has delivered some of the most “staggeringly bad performances in film history.” And you’ll note that I did in fact back up my claims in a more fully rounded posting.
Are strongly worded opinions too much for your terribly delicate sensibilities? Fine. Feel free to disregard my posts. I’ll be glad to extend you the same courtesy. Not like I’ll be missing much, and from the looks of your postings, which consist thus far primarily of lists, you won’t be missing much either.
geez, why can’t we all be friends?
Roscoe’s hilarious. That really needs to be said.
Brad Pitt is average… as far as current Hollywood standards go. He gives some really bad performances, and some decent ones, but I’ve yet to see a great performance… wait… let me check… nope, no great performances I’ve seen, not even many good ones.
“THe best that can be said of Pitt is that he is often competent…”
Perfect summation of his career, by the way.
In all fairness, I do plan on checking out Inglorious Basterds when it hits theaters. But I’ll be going in reluctantly, as I kind of gave up on Tarantino after Jackie Brown. Maybe both Pitt and Tarantino will surprise. When you wish upon a star . . .