Yet another candidate for the Best Picture Oscar at this Sunday’s telecast, Moneyball is a good movie that should please even non-sport-movies fans.
Synopsis: Billy Beane is the general manager of the Oakland A, a baseball team that wouldn’t stand a chance playing against well financed teams like the Yankees that can buy up all the best players around. Facing a limited budget and desiring to change the basic rules of how the boardroom games are played, Beane decides to use computer generate analysis to pick his players even if on paper they seem worthless. Will the gamble pay off?
Brad Pitt played Beane with intensity and depth, garnering his third Academy Award acting nomination (he’s also nominated as a producer for Moneyball this year). Jonah Hill, who played the computer analyst that enabled Beane to reach his goal of changing the way the game is run, also earned plenty of accolades and an Academy Award, although after watching the movie, I honestly don’t see how he deserved such an honor. He is good, but I don’t see the excellence, and frankly Philip Seymour Hoffman was much better, even though he might have had less screen time.
At any rate, the movie is enjoyable even for someone who, like me, has no knowledge or interest in the game of baseball whatsoever. A good screenplay, excellent performances from the whole cast, very good direction, and a nice score all conjure to create a good movie that certainly doesn’t stand a chance to be crowned the Best of 2011, especially when facing The Artist and The Descendants.
The Bottom Line: whether because you love baseball, or you like Brad Pitt, or you just like well made movies, Moneyball is a film worth watching, even though it might not leave a lasting impression.