We're less than three weeks away from Oscar night, and as usual, Hollywood is abuzz with rumors and speculation about who will emerge victorious on the film industry's biggest night.
But there's a bit of a twist this year, as no matter what films and actors take home the hardware on February 9, the big winners of the 2020 awards season will always be Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.
For several weeks now, fans of the former couple have been giddy over reports of a possible reconciliation.
And they don't seem the least bit deterred by the fact that such reports are almost certainly bogus.
At last month's Golden Globes ceremony, Brad took home the prize for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical or Comedy, and Jen watched his speech with rapt attention, laughing at all the appropriate moments.
Naturally, this was reported by some of the more breathless tabloids as Aniston "gazing" at her ex "with adoration."
At Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild Awards, Pitt and Aniston were spotted backstage enjoying what appeared to be a very intimate conversation.
Naturaly, the Brannifer shippers began bracing themselves for an engagement announcement.
As we said before, the rumors of Pitt and Aniston getting back together will likely never let up.
And while we're sure that's occasionally very annoying for both parties, being a subject of global obsession at a time when most screen stars are settling into playing the grandparents of fresh-faced up-and-comers must be at least a little satisfying.
After all, today's Hollywood is more youth-obsessed than ever, and making international headlines in your fifties on the basis of a single photo is the movie star equivalent of Tom Brady leading an NFL team to the Super Bowl at age 41.
More importantly, the renewed interest in Brad and Jen's divorce and the divergent paths they took in the 15 years that followed has given Pitt an opportunity to apologize to his ex for the many ways in which their marriage went awry.
Pitt is sober these days after struggling with substance abuse for decades, and in the spirit of the eighth step in AA's famous 12-step program, he's taken steps to make amends to Jen.
"Brad is completely sober now and is in such a different place than he was when they were together," a source close to the situation tells Entertainment Tonight.
"Brad is truly an introspective guy who has worked hard on himself," the insider continues.
"He has apologized to her for many things he felt were his issues in their relationship. He truly takes ownership for his mistakes and that has changed their relationship with each other today. They both have moved on."
From there, the source states in no uncertain terms that Brad and Jen are not involved in a romantic relationship:
"Right now they just love and adore each other and have been much closer friends since their divorces," the insider tells ET.
"They have a very mature relationship that has evolved over time because they both have experienced marriages that didn’t work out," he adds.
"Brad has grown so much in his life since he and Jen broke up."
And we're sure he's well aware that no matter what happens at the Dolby Theater on Hollywood's biggest night, there's no greater reward than self-improvement.
That said, Brad probably wouldn't mind walking out of the place with his very first Oscar for acting.