Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain to be campaigned in supporting categories for 'The Tree of Life'

Merie Wallace

It’s not a huge surprise, but today comes word from Fox Searchlight that the entire cast of The Tree of Life — notably Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain — will be campaigned in the supporting categories this awards season. It’s a strategy that’s been used for several ensemble films in the recent past, like Babel and Slumdog Millionaire. (Babel‘s Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi ended up scoring Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress, while Slumdog‘s Dev Patel earned a SAG nod in the supporting-male race.)

For Pitt, the move heads off any potential vote splitting between his performances in Tree of Life and Moneyball, since the latter is clearly a lead role. But for Chastain, it’s muddier: The actress, who’ll end up costarring in six films released in 2011, will now be the recipient of supporting campaigns for Tree and The Help, just for starters.

Clearly Searchlight is going with a “the movie is the star” approach with its Tree of Life campaign, a decision that will put the spotlight on reclusive director Terrence Malick. And hey, maybe the dinosaurs were the leads.

Dave on Twitter: @davekarger

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  • Gemma Turner

    Such nonsensical decisions! Supporting categories? Who were they supporting in the film? What about Sean Penn? Was he the lead?

  • MCS

    To be honest, I agree that they were supporting. I saw the young boy as the lead character. I would even say Chastain was a lead before Pitt.

  • adam

    I still haven’t seen The Tree of Life. But I did see Moneyball last weekend and I would love to see Brad Pitt nominated for Best Actor. His performance was really terrific in a role that wasn’t a typical “showy” Oscar-bait role, so i hope the Academy is willing to recognize it.

  • Derr

    Watched tree of life and moneyball expecting to see something magnificent and left the theatre both times feeling cheated. The critics went overboard with the butt kissing this time. Brad Pitt is officially the most overrated” actor” … The dude doesn’t even bother changjing his mannerisms for different characters.

    • amy

      Glad I’m not alone!! I too think Brad Pitt is overrated!!! Can’t stand him!!!

  • jfms777

    I cannot imagine Sean Penn in the running. Sean Penn has questioned why he was in the movie in the first place. And I agree with Sean Penn; his role just confused the movie. I wish they would have paid him, and then put his scenes on the cutting room floor.

  • alan of montreal

    So is Hunter McCracken going Supporting too?

  • Adwina Lambert

    brad pitt was wayyyy hotter in his first film role in Cutting Class!! why do they always mention he got his break in Thelma and Louise?!?! sheeesh!! tee-hee!

  • Renaton

    Hunter McCraken, who played the boy was very obviously the lead.
    Anyone suggesting that Pitt or Chastain are the real leads must not have seen the film.

  • scorpo

    I have not seen this film but I have seen “The Help” and Jessica was terrific. I think she and Octavia Spencer should both receive supporting nominations for “The Help”.

    • Anonymous

      I agree she was delightful in that movie! And Viola Davis also deserves a nomination, I guess for best actress. I love Emma Stone, but I really don’t think she should be nominated.

  • seattlejohn

    hated this movie…fell asleep 3 or 4 times, couldn’t understand the too quiet dialogue..only nomination should be for the fluid cinematography…biggest disappointment of the year!

  • Sam J

    Theme of the movie:

    There is a grace within nature.

    (Dino scene)

  • house

    No Amy your not alone,I dont like him either. His acting or wht he thinks is acting bores the hell out of me.

    • julio

      That women’s group heard a wrong story about Angie’s movie. I belive that wrong story was paresd by Serbia’s media. Back in July Sebia’s TV station& movie studios’s owner announced to Serb media that he was going to be in partnership with Angie for her new movie. Then a few weeks later Serb media wrote that the owner refused to work with her.He told Serb press that he refused her offer because Islam’s woman fell in love with Serb soldier who raped her story makes Serb bad people.My guess: the owner lied to save his face. He wanted them to use his movie studios but the production went to Hungary’s studio and Sarajebo. But he needed an excuse why the production was not happening at his studios.Angie’s movie is less than $15mil but it’s huge for Eastern Europe and we can easily imagine there had been a competition between not only between Serb and Bosnia but also Hungary’ newest studio Korda. And Sarajebo and Hungary’s location managers got the title of exec producer and big money.Angie’s movie is about an Islam woman who fell in love with a Serbian man just before Bosnia War broke out.

  • nadja

    Brad Pitt is one of the greatest actors.
    All those who think he is overreated probabaly haven t seen all his movies, i thought he was great TAOJJ, fight club, inglorious bastards, snatch……He has played so many antistereotypes.
    Hope he wins an oscar at last. Love you Brad.
    Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Kid A

    The greatest of all films will not receive it’s merit at the oscars, a la 2001: a space oddysey.

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