Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
A closer look at Brad Pitt's ad for Chanel No. 5
Bear with me on this one, people...
Astonishingly, folks are calling movie star Brad Pitt's ad for Chanel No. 5 "nonsensical," and not just because it's a man pitching a woman's fragrance. For many, the nonsense stems from the dialogue, which seems to have been lifted from Terrence Malick's Significant Whispers (not its real title).
But we here at The Big Screen know that Mr. Pitt is nothing if not selective about the projects he chooses, and so we started musing over his expertly delivered monologue, searching for meaning amid the madness. And we think we may have figured it out. Read with a certain squint, the script serves an a nod to Pitt's early film career - to the years before Angelina, before Jennifer, before Clooney and the self-aware movie-starness of the Ocean's films. The days when he was a sexy, cool actor, but not yet a cornerstone of The Institute for Sexy Coolness. Viz:
"It's not a journey. Every journey ends, but we go on." Easy reference to Pitt's breakthrough role in the doomed-roadtrip film Thelma & Louise.
"The world turns, and we turn with it." The line fairly drips with the timeless, ruminative character of A River Runs Through It.
"Plans disappear; dreams take over." Dreams? Plans? 12 Monkeys. A protagonist whose haunted dreams take over his plan to save the world by foiling a plot to unleash a supervirus.
"But wherever I go, there you are." Easy: Interview with the Vampire. Tom Cruise's Lestat haunts Pitt's Louis down through the years. Every time Pitt thinks he's escaped...
"My luck." A tricky one. But I'm going to go with Seven, because of Pitt's extraordinary bad luck in become the object of crazy Kevin Spacey's envy, and because Seven was kind of a big-deal film...
"My fate." Easier than luck, since death is everybody's fate, and Pitt just happened to play death in Meet Joe Black.
"My fortune." Hello Snatch, which casts Pitt as a guy looking for a big score.
But my favorite bit is the last line: "Chanel No. 5. Inevitable." Brutal self-assessment from the man who played anti-consumer extraordinaire Tyler Durden in Fight Club.
Anyway, that's my take. Anyone got a better idea? You know, besides the $7 million payday.