Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Moneyball Hits A Home Run

"Moneyball," based on the true story of Billy Beane and his determination to turn the Oakland Athletics into a winning team despite the team's lack of funds, not only hits a home run, it turns a triple play.  Starring Brad Pitt ("Tree of Life" "Curious Case of Benjamin Button"), Jonah Hill ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall" "Cyrus"), and Phillip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote" "Doubt"), with a screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin and directed by Bennett Miller (this is his second feature film - the first was "Capote" - this is guy is talented), the triple play analogy is obvious.  Brad Pitt turns out another impressive acting feat in his interpretation of Billy Beane as a failed athlete who loves the game and wants to contribute however he can.  He takes his competitive drive and uses it to win off the field.  Brad Pitt makes him believable, likable and someone worth rooting for.  Jonah Hill is delightful as Peter Brand, the fresh out of college economics wizard (and baseball statistician with an amazing memory) whom Billy Beane hires as his assistant after listening to him at an opposing team's business office.  Together, Billy and Peter work out a formula for hiring players based solely on the numbers, much to the chagrin of the A's older, established scouts.  The result is well-documented and not a surprise, but you will still love the ride and are on the edge of your seat as you watch the storied team move ever closer to a championship, along with some very impressive records.  "Moneyball" will be added to the list of great baseball films, but even if you are not a fan of the sport, you will be a fan of this film.  It is ordinary people using their extraordinary skills and determination to make something happen and make it happen better than it has in the past.  It's always good to see the underdog win.

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