Starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill,Robin Wright
Directed by Bennet Miller
Whether it was due to the critical acclaim, or the fact that Aaron Sorkin was on script writing duties, I really wanted to love this film. And it was good, but not for the reasons expected. Moneyball doesn’t necessarily require extensive knowledge of baseball, but unlike the F1 documentary Senna, a bit of prior understanding would probably aide your viewing.
The film is based on Michael Lewis’ book of the same name and is an account of Oakland Athletics team’s 2002 season. General Manager Billy Beane (Pitt) and economist Peter Brand (Hill) are faced with a dire financial situations and resort to a sabermetric approach to rating and analysing players. And instead of all the sports movie clichés, this mathematical approach to picking players is why the film is interesting. Instead of what you normally expect from a sports movie, Moneyball has a sophisticated edge and the economic discussions are pretty complex.
Pitt and Hill are fantastic collectively and you get the impression they are doing dramatically more than trying to be caricatures of Beane and Brand. What’s more is that the pair of them are pared back and believable whilst maintaining some of the charm we know and love to make their characters believable. Together they lend to some comedic moments, both men manage to incorporate their humour with straight drama which is a delight to watch.
Moneyball isn’t just about baseball but the storyline with Beane’s daughter feels a little out of place and less realistic than the rest of the movie. Also, Moneyball is a lengthy film. Personally I am not opposed to long films provided they grip from start to finish, but at times found myself thinking it could have done with a more ruthless edit.
With that said, Moneyball is a recommendation on the grounds of the interesting aspect of baseball and wonderful acting.