Brad Pitt has well and truly joined the race for the Best Actor gong at the 2012 Oscars, after picking up the same prize at the Film Critics Circle Awards in New York on Tuesday (November 29, 2011).
Pitt, 47, fended off stiff competition from French actor Jean Dujardin to land the top award for his performances in both baseball drama Moneyball and the avant-garde Terrence Malick flick The Tree of Life. The Hollywood star was the 8/1 outsider to taste success at the Oscars, but considering Dujardin is the second favorite, bookmakers may now be reconsidering their odds. In Moneyball, Pit won plaudits for his portrayal of Oakland A's coach Billy Beane, who shunned traditional methods of scouting in favour of finding new talent through mathematics and statistics. Movie Talk critic Jason Best was among those to heap praise on the actor, saying, "Pitt is terrific as the film's complex, driven protagonist, and he and a heavy-hitting supporting cast, including Philip Seymour Hoffman's stubborn coach". Although Pitt got the better of Dujardin on this occasion, the pair will both have to beat George Clooney come the Oscars 2012, providing he's nominated for his role in the Alexander Payne flick 'The Descendants'.
Elsewhere at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, Meryl Streep took home the Best Actress award for her performance as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, while Michel Hazanavicius's silent movie The Artist took Best Film, ahead of The Descendants, Moneyball and Drive.