innovativecommunications.tv I could start out my review of “Moneyball” with a line like “Is it a homerun, or does it strike out?” but that would be clichéd and obvious-two things this film is NOT. I’m Keith Kelly. My thoughts on “Moneyball” coming up right now.
“Moneyball” is the story of Billy Beane, the real life general manager of the Oakland A’s, who attempts to put together a winning team on a laughable budget. Outspent by the other big leaguers, he relies on analytical tools instead of deep pockets. Doesn’t sound like the stuff of thrilling cinema, does it? But this is actually a masterful story that goes way past the overcooked clichés of most “sport” films.
Brad Pitt heads up the wonderful cast as the radical thinking GM. With the help of young upstart Peter Brand (played by an understated Jonah Hill) he learns that using the modern tools of statistical data can surpass the ancient methods of building a ball club, which rely more on intuition.
I’m going to fess up right now that I’m not a huge sports fan, so I’m probably not the target market for this baseball movie. It doesn’t really matter though, because this film works on many levels. If you are a huge sports nut, it’s a great inside look at the building of a winning team, using the tools of sabermetrics. If you’re more like me, a casual observer of sports, you’ll find this tale is about far more than just baseball. It’s about dealing with disappointment and learning to grow past your own disillusionments. It’s about not being afraid to stick your neck out when the whole world is telling you you’re an idiot. It’s also about reaching outside of your comfort zone, past the safe and easy, even though your self-imposed cocoon may be very comfortable.
Brad Pitt brings loads of humanity to his role, aided by the sharp and witty dialogue from Aaron Sorkin. It’s not a super-showy part, but Pitt brings just the right level of intensity and frustration. The rest of the cast, including Jonah Hill and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are also superb and restrained in their portrayals.
I give “Moneyball”, directed with just the right tone by Bennett Miller, a grade of “B+”. I’m Keith Kelly.
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