Why we should all be thankful for Brad Pitt
HOLLYWOOD has finally unearthed a real hero.
Brad Pitt truly deserves the admiration of the viewing public. Not just for the good looks, the rippling muscles or old-school charisma (although he has them all in spades).
What Pitt really deserves accolades for is the entertainment and sheer relief he is bringing to a Hollywood awards season that is otherwise drowning in boring earnestness and PC nonsense.
He is the antidote to the virtue-signalling drudgery that awards ceremonies have become.
Pitt is the frontrunner to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar after taking out both the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award and Golden Globe in the same category for his role as a stunt man in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
If he gets the Academy Award, Pitt's speech will be about the only thing that could save the Oscars from being yet another predictable snooze-fest.
Unlike the Golden Globes where the booze flows freely - and host Ricky Gervais leaves the A-listers stunned as he skewers La La Land's leading lights with glee - the bar isn't the only thing about the Oscars that is dry these days.
Now operating without hosts, the Oscars ceremony has lost its sparkle.
It has become a three-hour opportunity for actors to preach about past and present hardships while dripping in jewels and draped in designer gowns and suits.
And that is exactly why we need someone like Pitt to get his hands on a statue.
Both times Pitt has made it to the dais this award season, he has poked fun at his A-list pals and, more importantly, himself.
He joked about his Once Upon a Time co-star Leo DiCaprio (or LDC, as Brad affectionately called him) and the infamous death scene in Titanic; Tarantino's so-called foot fetish; and the challenges of his own love life.
When accepting his SAG, the single Pitt quipped that he would have to add the accolade to his Tinder profile, before jesting about his role as a washed-up stunt man in the Tarantino blockbuster.
"Let's be honest, it was a difficult part," he said, sarcastically.
"Guy who gets high, takes his shirt off and doesn't get on with his wife? It was a big stretch."
Ouch! You can just imagine Pitt's estranged wife Angelina Jolie fuming when she heard that very public-put-down
No doubt even more salt was rubbed in Jolie's wounds when the camera panned to Pitt's first wife, Jennifer Aniston, sitting in the crowd, looking drop-dead gorgeous as she applauded.
Pitt's SAG gags came just weeks after the Fight Club star jokingly complained, during his Globe acceptance, that he couldn't invite his own mother to the event.
"Anyone I stand next to they say I am dating," he quipped.
The camera guy cut straight to Aniston who was smiling approvingly at her ex's wry remarks.
There is unlikely to be anyone more qualified than Aniston to understand what it's like to have personal life become a public spectacle.
For the five years they were married, Pitt and Aniston were Hollywood's golden couple.
But when Pitt left Aniston for his co-star Jolie it only magnified the interest in all three of them.
Aniston was painted as the childless and bitter ex-wife. Jolie was the man-eater who stole husbands. Pitt was cast as the handsome hero torn between two women.
Pitt and Jolie separated in 2016 and have been fighting ever since over their many offspring and vast fortunes.
Yet what makes Pitt's performance at this year's awards even more addictive is that 15 years after saying, "I don't," Pitt and Aniston seem to be on extremely friendly terms.
For many, the represent a story of redemption, karma and love lost.
The exes were photographed holding hands and gazing adoringly at one another backstage after winning their respective SAG awards.
That's not to say that Aniston and Pitt are set to remarry, but there's no doubting that the ongoing frisson between two former love birds has become one of the few things we can look forward to watching at the Oscars.
Because, frankly, who on earth wants to hear Joaquin Phoenix drone on again about veganism and recycling his suit?
Unlike the self-deprecating Pitt, Phoenix left the SAGs and - still in his Stella McCartney tuxedo - headed straight to a slaughterhouse to comfort pigs on their way to certain death (brace yourself for this cheery anecdote creeping into Phoenix's Oscars speech).
We may also have to saddle up to the likely Best Supporting Actress winner Laura Dern once again explaining to us why her role as a divorce lawyer in Marriage Story is somehow a global message about togetherness.
And Renée Zellweger? She is hot favourite to take out Best Actress and is certainly talented, but unless she's performing lines from a script, most of what comes out of her mouth is forgettable.
Pitt, on the other hand, is a loveable loose cannon.
While it's doubtful he will use his Oscars acceptance speech to declare his undying love for Aniston, we can least rest assured he won't be pushing political agendas or weeping with theatrical emotion.
Because that would be the pits, not the Pitt we know and love.