One of the threads running through this year’s Oscar race is the single father who must pull things together for the sake of his kids. This is especially poignant in three films – Moneyball, The Descendants and We Bought a Zoo. It’s even funnier that it happens to be George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, the Oceans gang, but also the Sexiest Men Alive troika. Remember how Clooney and Pitt were campaigning for Damon?
Another thing they have in common, other than caring for their children – all three have daughters, only Damon has a son — is that they cry. Both The Descendants and We Bought a Zoo, those tears are brought on by their personal relationship. In Moneyball, the tears are more about happiness, disbelieving happiness that things worked out, for once, in Billy Beane’s life. Of all three of these characters, only Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane is digging himself out of failure. Clooney and Damon have suffered blows — leaving them to raise their children alone. But Pitt isn’t raising a child so much as he’s trying to, finally, making something of himself.