Brad Pitt completely shocked audiences and critics alike when they saw his performance in Babel since it was the first time in years when Pitt took on a role that was entirely outside of the scope of the action films he had minimized his career to being. Babel is a film that focuses on four separate vignettes that are interconnected in character connections and theme, the primary theme being miscommunication and the misunderstanding of culture.
Brad Pitt stars as Richard Jones, a husband who is trying to rectify a failing marriage with his wife (Cate Blanchett) by taking a vacation to Morocco. What is supposed to be an opportunity for him to reconnect with his wife turns into a nightmare when a bullet strikes into their tour bus, hitting his wife in the throat. With his wife clinging to life, Richard is forced to seek the help of the Moroccan people to save his wife while enduring issues with the United States embassy who are dragging their feet in providing a rescue due to bureaucratic issues.
Brad Pitt’s performance conveys a level of emotional turmoil and terror that gave the performance a raw and authentic feel. The realism of the performance is especially notable by how Pitt focused his character on trying to stay in control emotionally, but being unable to process everything as they are unfolding. It is not until the situation is resolved enough that he is actually able to emotionally unload, to which Pitt offers a very heart-wrenching scene of him sobbing while talking to his children on the phone.
Brad Pitt was nominated for a Golden Globe, but his performance was ultimately overshadowed by the film’s other vignettes, which managed to get nominations for both Rinko Kikuchi and Adriana Barraza.