Moneyball (2011)

Moneyball (2011) – So I need to start this off with full disclosure: I am not a baseball fan. I root for the Giants, but that’s just due to my generally pro-San Francisco attitude. It’s not that I am totally against baseball. I enjoy games when I go to them (though it should be pointed out I also drink when I got to baseball games and I enjoy most things when I’m drinking), but I cannot stand to watch it on television. Consequently I don’t really follow baseball much. I am also not really a statistics fan (this might somewhat tie in to why I’m not a bigger sports person, though I do enjoy them). Moneyball centers around baseball and stats. It does not, on paper, sound like a movie for me.

But it is. It is a movie for me because it is a good damn movie. It’s about thinking differently and how that is often met with hostility. Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, a onetime ball player who is now the general manager of the Oakland Athletics. The A’s do not have the money of an organization like the New York Yankees, which becomes very obvious after  their 2001 season when their three star players and lured away to other better-paying teams. Beane recognizes that a new way of thinking is needed to build a championship team. That’s when he meets Peter Brand (a fictional character played by Jonah Hill and based on Paul DePodesta). He presents an idea that could build a championship team on a budget. Few believe in him. Team manager Art Howe (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) seems to sabotage him at every turn.

Moneyball is based on characters and ideas. In a lot of ways it follows the main narrative arc of a typical sports movie but in execution it doesn’t come off that way. The script by Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List, American Gangster) and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, A Few Good Men) and the direction by Bennett Miller (Capote) elevates it above that. It’s definitely worth checking out both for people who follow sports and people who don’t.

One Response to “Moneyball (2011)”
  1. CMrok93 says:

    It may not feel quite like the classic baseball movie others have achieved, but it’s certainly pleasant enough to be enjoyable even by non-sports fan, and features great performances from Hill and Pitt. Good review. Check out mine when you get a chance.

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