Review: Moneyball (2011)

“There are rich teams, and there are poor teams. Then there’s 50 feet of crap. And then there’s us.”

Moneyball is a sports drama film thats based on a true story. The film stars Brad Pitt (The Tree of Life), Jonah Hill (Cyrus), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Ides of March) and Chris Pratt (Take Me Home Tonight). It’s directed by Bennett Miller (Capote).

Based on a true story, Moneyball is a movie for anybody who has ever dreamed of taking on the system. Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s and the guy who assembles the team, who has an epiphany: all of baseball’s conventional wisdom is wrong. Forced to reinvent his team on a tight budget, Beane will have to outsmart the richer clubs. The onetime jock teams with Ivy League grad Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) in an unlikely partnership, recruiting bargain players that the scouts call flawed, but all of whom have an ability to get on base, score runs, and win games. It’s more than baseball, it’s a revolution – one that challenges old school traditions and puts Beane in the crosshairs of those who say he’s tearing out the heart and soul of the game

Moneyball. A film thats essentially about statistics and ‘runs’. But don’t be fooled because its a lot more interesting than it sounds. It’s also a film that I’ve been looking forward to since the trailer. I don’t have any interest in Baseball nor do I understand it but the films subject matter is incredibly engaging. This could be down to the fact its based on a true story.

Brad Pitt takes the lead role as frustrated Oakland A’s general manager who is struggling to cope with the system of having no money to produce a winning team. Pitt is definitely entering his most mature career stage and seems to be getting better with age. He’s not particularly acting outside his abilities but is very effective for the character he’s portraying. Also another note that Pitt is looking very Robert Redfrod and sounding very much like his character Lt. Aldo Raine from Inglourious Basterds.

Jonah Hill is one of the surprise packages. I was a bit a sketchy when seeing his name attached to such a dramatic film. But when you see it you realise it clicks. Moneyball is a drama film but it equally has humour that is funny when needed. Jonah Hill is demonstrating his versatility in film roles. Philip Seymour Hoffman was the other sweetener when concerning this film, I’m a big fan of his. Hoffman isn’t used that much compared to the rest of the case but gets is job done without any fuss.

What makes this film stand out is the screenplay and cinematography. Both are award winning craftsman in their own right. Aaron Sorkin and Wally Pfister respectively. As you’d expect the dialogue is extremely good – very witty, informative and humorous. That’s why Sorkin is one of the best screenwriters today. Wally Pfisters cinematography is very noticeable, the whole film is just beautifully shot and only wets my appetite for how The Dark Knight Rises will look next year.

I found Moneyball a fantastic film and lived up to my expectations. I think it will get some Oscar nominations and hopefully win a few as well. Even though the subject matter isn’t something native to me I still found it interesting and captivating.


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