From the director of the award-winning Capote (2005), Bennett Miller’s Moneyball is a film suitable for sports fans. Based on the true story of Oakland Athletic’s General Manager Billy Beane, the film tells of the risk one man takes to bring his club back to respectability when he believes all odds are against him in the unfair business of the MLB.
When his team loses three of their star players and find themselves once again departing early out of the playoffs, Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) takes extreme measures and looks to a young Yale graduate (played by Jonah Hill)to help find the winning formula for the A’s organization. In an unorthodox and widely scrutinized fashion, Billy Beane and Peter Brand try to use a computer-generated analysis of players to piece together a squad during the 2002 season.
Moneyball has a little bit of everything that anyone would want or expect from a sports movie. With great camera shots, witty baseball dialogue and tremendous use of sound (or lack thereof), the movie keeps its viewers intrigued and entertained throughout.
Through its subtle use of close-ups, slow and developing humor, and the behind-the-scenes looks of the ins and outs of the game of baseball, the film portrays the nitty-gritty and cut-throat lifestyles of owners and general managers in the sporting world.
In realistic fashion, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Academy Award-winning Philip Seymour Hoffman put all the pieces together to resemble the day-to-day operations of a struggling ballclub. With great acting from the trio of stars, Moneyball narrows in on the serious and overlooked aspects of sports like never seen before. Playing the dissatisfied manager Art Howe, Hoffman successfully plays one of the opposed characters to Beane’s new ideals. Unhappy with the situation at-hand, Rowe wishes to carry out the everyday operations as he sees fit.
The film effectively uses comedy and drama into the well-timed sequence of events that compiled the true-life story behind the California baseball club. While other films portray sports as entertainment, Moneyball throws the idea of “fun” of the game out the window. Talking more business than games, the film keeps focus narrowed on business operations.
Using the team as a metaphor and effectively displaying emotions, the movie presents its audience with an inside look of its protagonist. With multiple shots placing Brad Pitt’s character into complete solidarity, the film uses his daughter and a wide-range of other simple characters as the surrounding cast that molds Billy Beane’s life. With his daughter as inspiration to always move forward, the protagonist uses every ounce of his energy into what he sees as a life or death situation in a crossroads of his career. As an owner who believes he has taken the safe route all his life, he hires Peter Brand as his right-hand man to potentially change the game.
Also, the film uses a plethora of old video clips, real names and multiple subtle jabs throughout to put the audience in the locker room and offices of the real-life team.
With fine acting, accurate history of the game, impressive camera angles, simple comedy and unique story-telling throughout, Moneyball is one of the best sports film in the past decade.