The actor hasn't appeared in a film since 2017's Netflix drama War Machine, and this year has two Oscar contenders in the mix

By Nigel Smith
July 30, 2019 03:23 PM

It’s a good time to be Brad Pitt.

The actor, 55, is earning raves for his performance as Cliff Booth, a fictional stuntman at the heart of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood — as well as attention for his buff physique, which is on full display in the film (yes, there’s a shirtless scene).

This marks Pitt’s second collaboration with Tarantino following 2009’s Inglourious Basterds, which also brought the pair acclaim.

[ent-hotlink id="18444" href="https://people.com/tag/brad-pitt/" title="Brad Pitt"] in Ad Astra 
20th Century Fox

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood comes at a crucial professional time for Pitt. The actor hasn’t appeared in a film since 2017’s Netflix drama War Machine, and this year has two Oscar contenders in the mix: Hollywood and the space epic Ad Astra, which world premieres at the Venice Film Festival before opening Sept. 20. Films that have made their debuts at the event include Oscar winners La La Land and Birdman.

Pitt launched his Hollywood campaign in May at the splashy Cannes Film Festival premiere of the film, where he posed happily alongside his costars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie.

“He was very happy to be there,” a source told PEOPLE at the time. [He was] absolutely relaxed and smiling like I haven’t seen him for some time.”

Academy voters are so excited to see the film, many were turned away at a recent membership screening in Los Angeles, according to reports.

Adding to the buzz surrounding the box office hit, the Internet has gone wild for the bromance between Pitt and DiCaprio, both of whom have never acted in a movie together. While out promoting the film, DiCaprio said he’s eager to re-team with Pitt in the future, while Pitt joked the two will next be working on a Christmas album.

Brad Pitt at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival in France
Tony Barson/FilmMagic

RELATED: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Rave First Reactions at Cannes: ‘Brilliant’ and ‘Shocking’

In April, a different source told PEOPLE the actor has been focused on being a good father to his six children with ex Angelina Jolie.

[He] seems happy to focus on himself and the kids,” the source said following a judge’s ruling that he and Jolie, 43, be declared single before finalizing their divorce settlement.

The two have six children together: Maddox, 17, Pax, 15, Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 12, and 10-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood — also starring Luke Perry in his final role, Kurt RussellDakota Fanning and Lena Dunham — is now playing.

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