General comment about acting: Shouldn’t we assess actors based on their best work and mostly ignore their worst work?
Reasoning: With a bad enough script and a bad enough director, even a great actor can give a terrible performance. (Insert your favorite example here.) This sort of performance reflects poor judgment in choosing projects, not bad acting. On the other hand, although a great director can certainly make an actor look better by bringing out the best possible performance, the actor’s ability still puts a ceiling on what the director can accomplish.
I for one am looking forward to the day that they can use technology replace actors in existing films. This is necessary to rescue good movies from their bad casting. How great it would be to watch seven without Pitt whining “aaaawww what’s in the the booooxxxx”?
I’m with Roscoe on this. It may be a stretch to call his acting the worst ever, but people who defend his roles in recent films are giving him way too much slack. After as many attempts that he’s made and failed at, tells me he just can’t act and never will.
Brad Pitt is a great actor, is underrated because is a great star (sexy man ,brangelina..)
pitt performances in jesse james,burn after reading,12 monkeys,kalifornia,snacht,babel,fight club are great,pitt is a very versatile actor and great directors love brad pitt
strawdawg and roscoe are jealous?
Personally I think he’s a very good actor. He has shown great versatility in films such as Fight Club, Burn After Reading, Snatch and The Assassination of Jesse James. In fact he’s getting more great roles with great directors (As KANE01 pointed out) than just about anybody.
I think all the buzz about his personal life turns alot of people off. I think the people who let that effect their judgement are those who are not serious film lovers. They’re the ones that are obsessed with celebrity magazines. Personally I don’t know the parties involved in his private life so I don’t judge them.
He’s been way too successful to be considered a bad actor. Tom Cruise is in the same boat though I can’t defend some of his actions. (I’ll leave it at that.)
And like Dan L said. We should evaluate actors on their good work. His success is undeniable. I don’t think anyone here would say Marlon Brando and Lawrence Olivier are terrible actors because they did terrible work in their later years. Plus, Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro have between the two of them made more great films than anyone. But since the mid-90s their body of work has been poor.
After Legends of the Fall, I became a Brad Pitt fan. When he rides into the camp with a bunch of hearts hanging around his neck, this is my kind of actor.
In my opinion, Brad Pitt is one of the best American actors working today. Why? I have two reasons, the first being versatility. From Burn After Reading to Inglorious to Jesse James to Fight Club, every time I watch a movie with him he plays a different character, and every time he does a great job. The second reason is a bit harder to explain, but I’ll try. Whenever I watch a movie, it’s inevitable that I think about the actors playing the various roles, and if I’ve seen them before I end up comparing them to other performances. Not so with Brad Pitt. When I watch him in any movie, I immediately forget I’m watching an actor, not a character. It’s only after I turn the movie off that it dawns on me that I just watched the same guy who was in Ocean’s Eleven (random side note: I love that movie). He plays his parts to such perfection that I don’t even think about the fact that he’s acting until I’ve seen it at least once. In my opinion, this should be the ultimate goal of all actors, because the less I think about a performance, the more attention I have focused on the film as a whole.
Oh, and about him just being a pretty boy: pretty boys don’t remain this popular this long unless there is genuine talent. Paul Walker has been forgotten, Chris Evans has been forgotten, and Keanu Reeves has nearly been forgotten. Yet Brad Pitt is as popular as ever. This alone should attest to his talent.
I would say he’s very talented. And that’s because of movies like:
The Assassination of Jesse James: By the Coward Robert Ford
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Ocean’s Series
Burn After Reading
Brad Pitt is actually pretty lousy in Seven IMO. it just occured to me the other night when i saw bits of it on television. He has definitely improved as an actor with time. Nothing special, but he was great in Jesse James
without a doubt he is a talented actor.
For me the best kind of acting is where the actor disappears into the role, where they’ve managed to conjure the equivalent of a split-personality (where needed—I will cede that some parts don’t require complete transformation).
But Pitt is almost always just Pitt. He’s a Movie Star, not an Actor (note capitalizations).
His best performance is probably in A River Runs Through It (which is probably also his best film) in which his natural charisma is used to great effect. He’s similarly effective in Fight Club and 12 Monkeys, and to a lesser extent Legends of the Fall (a role which is ultimately beyond him) and Interview with the Vampire.
The greatness of Jesse James is due to just about every aspect of that film’s production almost despite Pitt. He’s not too bad in most scenes, but the movie persists on its own merit.
I’ve defended him in the past as a Movie Star that at least picks interesting roles. Who wouldn’t want to be Achilles, or Benjamin Button, or Death? Cool roles, but he does not have the chops to inhabit them believably—his most notable crutch being his accent, which he is unable to effectively alter.
This is a rhetorical question, I surmise? Does shit smell bad?
^ Blue—thank you for the response. I’m intrigued by your interrogative. I’m going to research this immediately.
“Who wouldn’t want to be Achilles, or Benjamin Button”
i definitively wouldn’t wanna be neither Achilles nor Benjamin Button!
“, or Death?”
i am Death, muahahahaha!
OH! Blue, it DOES smell bad! I’ve just finished a double-blind involving me, my closest advisors, and this morning’s breakfast tacos.
Seriously, just look at Brad Pitt’s face in Benjamin Button. He’s incapable of making facial expressions.
Just listen to Brad Pitt’s Southern accent in Basterds. He’s incapable of sounding like an actual person.
Wait a minute Blue, since when did a Tarantino film require someone to behave like a real person?
I agree with JR for the most part. Pitt is a movie star. And while I agree with Blue’s examples, I don’t know if Pitt is as bad as Blue thinks. I do think the roles he could play well are very limited, though.
Well, in quirky roles that call for over-the-top acting, he can actually come across as decent. Of course, this has to do more with the fact that he’s a very good-looking guy who, to his credit, is at least not afraid of looking possibly silly. And society in general doesn’t expect good-looking people to be marginalized, and quirky roles played by good-looking actors defies this expectation. And as a result, people tend to say, ’wow, that Brad Pitt can really play a crazy guy."
I hate to be disagreeable when it sounds like you’re throwing me a bone, but I didn’t care for his quirky performances. I’m thinking of Burn After Reading (although I appreciated the effort) and Inglourious Basterds (as you mentioned). I do agree that it’s nice to see a good looking actor play some of these “un-cool” parts.
Btw, the roles I liked him in:
Mr. and Mrs
*River Runs Through itThelma and Louise
I thought he was appropriate for Se7en, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen that.
Well, I liked him okay in 12 Monkeys and Fight Club. Probably the only performances of his i didn’t mind. It just doesn’t help that there isn’t a single film of his that i truly like.
Josh says it well: Pitt is a Megastar, and the best performances by him are those where you forget that it’s Brad Pitt. He was was mediocre in Seven, but you could tell he was still figuring himself out. In Fight Club, he became Tyler Durden completely. In Twelve Monkeys, it was easy to say, “What a crazy role for Brad Pitt!” But during Fight Club, that didn’t happen. He fully embodied Tyler Durden, and the viewer forgot about Brad Pitt.
Here’s Pitt’s problem. He’s a great character actor who, because of his looks, is regularly placed in leading man roles, which he is not good at. Its the trap that Johnny Depp has worked very hard to avoid. His two best may be Fight Club (also the best film he’s been in) and Burn After Reading (not a very good film, but Pitt stands out with his best comic performance.) Then you have boring pap like Meet Joe Black and Benjamin Button where he can’t find a character to glom onto.
“Here’s Pitt’s problem. He’s a great character actor who, because of his looks, is regularly placed in leading man roles, which he is not good at. Its the trap that Johnny Depp has worked very hard to avoid”
yes, except it’s arguable whether Johnny Depp is any good without the bells and whistles either. Personally i find him dull in a ‘straight role’, with the exception of maybe Donnie Brasco, and even then Pacino was carrying him.
Pitt has no natural charisma.
He is the zero calorie Robert Redford.
“Shouldn’t we assess actors based on their best work and mostly ignore their worst work?”
There are quite a few actors who even charm in their worst films and lousiest performances, I think judging an actor from both his best and his worst will give you the clearest picture about their talent.
Pitt as far as I’m concerned is one of the most boring actors that ever disgraced the sliver screen…
yes he a is a good actor and has appeared in many great films
I think Pitt’s acting has improved over the years. Great directors like David Fincher and Andrew Dominik pushed him in Seven, Benjamin Button, Jesse James etc.
Plus, he picks his projects pretty carefully. Just look at the list of director’s he’s worked with: Gilliam, Coens, Fincher, Tarantino, Dominik and González Iñárritu.
And he’s got Malick’s The Tree Of Life coming out this year.
He has worked with good directors but in some of their worst projects