12 Monkeys (1995): Brad Pitt’s First Oscar Nomination (Supporting Actor) in Gilliam’s Movie

Pitt’s Vast and Intriguing Filmography:

Over the past 30 years, Pitt has packed a punch in various roles. In some performances, as underground fighter in both Snatch and Fight Clubhe’s done so quite literally.
But movie fans have fallen in love with Pitt for other, former roles: as a baseball manager, a stuntman, a wacky personal trainer, a detective, and countless other characters.

Here, in no particular order, is a list of the best Brad Pitt movies.

12 Monkeys

12 Monkeys (1995)

In 1995, Brad Pitt earned his first Oscar nomination for his supporting role in Terry Gilliam’s science-fiction time-travel thriller 12 Monkeys.

While he lost the Oscar, Pitt did earn his first Golden Globe.

Teaming up with co-star Bruce Willis, Pitt plays Jeffrey Goines, an unpredictable, ranting psychiatric patient in a dystopian facility who happens to be the son of the world’s premiere virologist-turned-aggressive social activist.

The throughline of the film is relevant due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where Willis’ character, prisoner James Cole, traverses time to gather more information about the onset of a viral outbreak which killed billions.

In 12 Monkeys, a Pitt delivers a performance with varying degrees erratic behavior, exposing his bare bottom and tearing pillows as he remains unfazed by demented actions, such as Willis swallowing a spider alive.

More details about Goines’ motivations are revealed as Cole jumps between timelines. As Pitt’s character evolves, so does his mission.

Once released from the psychiatric center, Goines embodies his misunderstood-rich-kid-activist mentality, taking underground action to protest animal testing — like letting snakes loose on the Senate floor — while eloquently pontificating as he turns his back on his father’s wealth and legacy.

It isn’t until the final act that the audience is able to understand Goines’ involvement in the catastrophic outbreak.