Rarely viewed as an 'actor's director,' Malick has nevertheless brought out some great work
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7. Brad Pitt, “The Tree of Life” (2011)
Malick’s last film, “The Tree of Life,” owes much of its existence to actor Brad Pitt, who co-produced the project with his Plan B partner Dede Gardner. Pitt should be commended for that bravery behind the camera, but in front of the camera, he is no less committed, digging into stern patriarch Mr. O’Brien with passion and conviction. The character is meant to be as symbolic as it might be ripped from real experience, representative of a way of life: “nature” and “fierce will.” But the actor pumps a considerable amount of true emotion into it, running hot and cold throughout, ultimately offering some of his finest work to date.