Brad Pitt swings for the fences and hopes for his first Oscar with Moneyball.
Commonly referred to as “America’s Favorite pastime,” baseball is a fun sport, but not always one that makes for a great movie. Baseball films always seem to gather the attention of baseball fans, but Moneyball succeeds in appealing to crowds of all interests by bringing the aspect of real-life to the usually predictable sequence of events in sports films.
In Moneyball, partnered up with an economics/statistics specialist, Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), the general manager of the Oakland A’s professional baseball team, fights against many different obstacles to take his team to greater heights of wins and success. The problems he is facing not only consist from opposing teams working against him, but also from opposition within the ranks stuck in their own old ways of tradition and selfishness. Having learned valuable personal life lessons of the perils of those ways, Beane fights to see the program of the Oakland A’s succeed, as he believes it can and should.
Careful now! You say you know how this film will go and how it will end!?? As predictable as most sports team film go, Moneyball goes down a slightly different path and presents a realistically nice blend of drama, comedy, and hope in this movie based on the Oakland A’s. This film, after all, is based on the real-life events that happened.
While not a “homerun of a movie,” Here’s what scored well with me for Moneyball:
1. The Cast.
- Not only does Brad Pitt carry the film as the focus of the story, he allows us to take a peek into the battles Billy Beane faced professionally and personally, and gives audiences a person to cheer for and a cause to support. Plus, I don’t think there is a scene in the film that he is not eating something in! 😀
- Jonah Hill is deserving of some sort of award for supporting actor in this role as Peter Brand. A much more serious/drama type of role than he usually portrays (Superbad, The Sitter, Knocked Up), this role is full of underlying soft-spoken comedy that does nothing short of entertain and add tremendously to the passion of the characters and story! I was impressed.
- Academy Award Winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and the rest of the supporting cast do well in portraying the different beliefs, passions, tempers, and loves of the people in the film. Everyone’s performances took the characters they were portraying and transformed them from just characters to actual people.
2. The Story and its history.
- Baseball fans may be surprised to see all the events that took place in a season that looked to be nothing but losses for the Oakland A’s. Having personally visited the stadium just a few months prior to seeing this film, I was even more enthralled thinking about the history of the colosseum and the combatants that competed there.
- The story is not a glorified sports story, but is, rather, a tribute to what actually happened the way life played out for those involved. So, No! It’s not Major League, or Field of Dreams, or A League of Their Own, but Moneyball does stand on its own as a solid baseball film.
- I was surprised at the amount of baseball playing (or the lack thereof) that there actually was in the movie! Truth be told, we all know what happens in baseball. One of the strengths of this film was the development of all things AROUND the baseball games and the team itself.
3. Brad Pitt.
- Say what you will about him. But the man pulled off a fantastic performance. You will smile with him, share frustrations with him, laugh with him, get mad with him, cheer with him, feel bad for him, and, ultimately, you will care for him and all he stands for as Billy Beane. His interactions with the entire cast carries the film and makes it be close to home and even closer to reality!
Does Moneyball give you all the chills and excitements as other sports films do? No, not necessarily. Are the plays on the field scripted to enhance their story and excitement? No, not necessarily. But does Moneyball deliver its own type of excitement? Yes! Does Moneyball score as one of the best of 2011? Yes!
I was delightfully surprised in how much I enjoyed this film. Baseball fan or not, there is something for you in this movie! Go see it, go be a part of the crowd and stand and cheer!
In my opinion, there should at least be a Grand Slam for nominations for this film in the upcoming award season:
- Actor in Leading Role- Pitt
- Actor in Supporting Role- Hill
- Director- Bennett Miller
- Writing (Adapted Screenplay)- Aaron Sorkin/Steven Zaillian.
See what others had to say with First Fans from ReelzChannel, hosted by my friend Casey Messer!
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!
–TheScarletSp1der’s Score: 4 out of 5 stars for “Moneyball”
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