Directed by Bennett Miller.
Starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright.
Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) atempts to put together a successful baseball team by employing computer generated analysis to draft his players.
Can you really make a movie about all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes in baseball and it actually be better than a normal baseball movie with all the action? Moneyball says yes.
Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s. He was a big time prospect when he was younger but didn’t last long in the majors when he didn’t live up to his potential. His team just lost in the first round of the playoffs in the previous season and they are about to lose the three best players on their team. Billy would like to try something different this season but all the scouts and members of the A’s organization just don’t understand what else they could possibly do. After meeting with the Cleveland Indians to try and make some trades he meets Peter Brand, played by Jonah Hill. Peter has a unique take on the game of baseball and this intrigues Billy enough to buy him from Cleveland. They plan on changing the game of baseball by choosing players based on statistics rather than seeing how they actually play the game. Nobody else likes this idea and thinks they will have one of the worst seasons in their history, but Billy and Peter have faith in their system and plan on doing something that has never been seen before.
You take one look at this movie and you would expect it to be boring because it’s a baseball movie but without all the baseball action you would normal get. We get to see things like trades being made, talks about money problems and statistical analysis of players. That’s not to say that we don’t get to see some of the games every now and again but that’s not what the story focuses on. One would never think that could be so engaging and very entertaining. The writing and acting definitely play big parts in why this movie is so entertaining. Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) wrote the screenplay for this and they did a great job combining almost every single aspect of baseball into a good script.
The acting here is top notch and it really is only three actors doing it well for almost the entire movie. Brad Pitt is great as always and here he really brings a lot to this real life character and certainly deserves to be nominated for anything he gets nominated for. Phillip Seymour Hoffman does a great job as well playing the head coach Art Howe. He plays it just like most head coaches in baseball really are and that definitely gave the movie some points for being realistic. Jonah Hill is someone you wouldn’t think would give a really good performance, mainly because he mostly does a lot of comedies. But here he actually gives a great performance and shows that he does have some range and we could very well see him doing more than just the types of comedies we’ve come to know from him.
All in all, the movie is not perfect but what it does put on screen is an effective sports movie that’s not just about all the glitz and glamour of being in the spotlight. It shows what really goes on when it comes to trying to put together a successful team and win ball games.