Brad Pitt‘s Benjamin Button performance is passivity incarnate. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. He simply chooses (or was told) to become the watcher — a nice fellow who delights in absorption of all things, a sponge man. But his best performance of the year, hands down, was in Burn After Reading. He wasn’t Hamlet in that Coen Bros. film, but Pitt’s every line and gesture was a kick. His gym instructor was stupidly, radiantly alive, and brimming with presence.