Brad Pitt to win Best Actor

Reviewing Moneyball for The New Yorker, David Denby declares that Brad Pitt should win Best Actor — for The Tree of Life. He's right about that, and he describes Pitt's performance well: 

…in Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life,” in which he plays a father who takes out his disappointments on his sons, his anger is self-wounding and tragic. It’s a performance that deserves an Academy Award.

But really it's an oblique nod to a more likely reality: Pitt will win an Oscar this year, but for the bigger picture, Moneyball, which gives him the star treatment, but doesn't challenge the audience.

Over at the fascinating Grantland site, Mark Harris runs the numbers, so to speak, and disagrees: 

Aside from all the bad metrics, Oscar voters may simply feel no particular need to nominate an actor as successful as Brad Pitt for playing a character who looks like Brad Pitt and sounds like Brad Pitt. It may be unfair that they prefer to reward the new, the old, the unfamiliar, or the ostentatiously transformative over the swing, confidence, and ease of a star in his prime, but it’s been that way since the era of Cary Grant — who, incidentally, ended his 35-year career in Hollywood with the exact number of nominations Pitt has now: Two.

Yeah, but back in Cary Grant's day, we had lots of movie stars. Now we're down to a bare few.


The cast of Oceans Eleven, pretty much. 

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