For all the swoons and sighs associated with any mention of Brad Pitt, the two-time Sexiest Man Alive has proved to be so much more than a pretty face. He's a worldly, respected father of six and a highly successful, award-winning actor/producer who picked up his third Oscar nomination for acting this year for his portrayal of beloved Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane in "Moneyball."
Pitt is nominated for Best Actor, going head-to-head with best buddy George Clooney ("The Descendants"), Jean Dujardin ("The Artist"), Demián Bichir ("A Better Life") and Gary Oldman ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"). "Moneyball" is also nominated for Best Picture, and Pitt's co-star Jonah Hill is up for Best Supporting Actor.
A large part of the well-received film's success can be attributed to Pitt, and not just because he starred in it. Pitt also served as a producer and remained committed to seeing the project through after a few bumps in the road. (The film adaptation of Michael Lewis' bestseller was originally slated to begin production in the summer of 2009 under the direction of Steven Soderbergh with a script by Oscar-winner Steven Zaillian.) Sony balked at Soderbergh's potentially less-than-commercial take on the story and production was halted until the summer of 2010, at which point Soderbergh was replaced by Bennett Miller ("Capote") and Aaron Sorkin rewrote Zaillian's script.
Speaking of Pitt's producer skills, the multitasker also starred in and served as producer on another Best Picture nominee this year, "The Tree of Life." Both films have garnered awards buzz since they opened and have picked up a handful of hardware throughout the busy season.
There is no question that Pitt is a Hollywood favorite, but so far Oscar glory has eluded him. He once again faces serious competition in the Best Actor category, as well as the Best Picture category where "Moneyball" and "Tree of Life" are up against front-runners "The Artist," "The Help," "Hugo," "Midnight In Paris," "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," "War Horse," and "The Descendants.
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