Review: ‘Moneyball’Written by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
Billy Beane wants to change baseball forever.
The Oakland A’s MLB general manager, played by Brad Pitt, is looking for wins on a budget. His star players have been scooped up by the majors and how is he supposed to replace them within his paltry $38 million budget (compared to a colossal $114M budget for the New York Yankees)?“It’s an unfair game,” Beane says about the money difference. “We have to think differently.”
Here enters newly graduated Yale economics major Peter Brand, played well by Jonah Hill. Brand’s focus is on the statistics on the game. He cares about getting on base and runs.
Making a sports movie can be tricky. Successful stories don’t necessarily focus on play-by-plays but on the characters and stories behind-the-scenes. Recent successes of this technique can be seen in 2010′s “The Fighter” and “Secretariat.”This movie is a little different. Refreshingly so. Pivotal moments in the baseball action are removed. Instead, viewers experience them through Pitt as Beane.
The camerawork and framing also strive for a different feel and achieve it. One scene in particular shows a thoughtful Beane sitting in an empty stadium with his feet on the chair in from of him, listening to a game. The contrast is striking.
This reviewer went in expecting a banal sports movie with an attempt at quick-paced action, but falling short of any real content or emotional connection. On the contrary, “Moneyball” intrigues and excites.
Pitt is reminiscent of Robert Redford in “The Natural.” He is a consummate actor who brings life to this story and is perfectly cast.
Hill as Brand also works. He is funny at times but not distracting. Jesse Eisenberg could learn something here.
In all, “Moneyball” works and recaps the story of the Oakland A’s and Beane’s attempt at a World Series win on a budget.
Also, be sure to look for an appearance by the Toledo Mud Hens.
4 stars out of 5
Rated PG-13 for some strong language.
Toledo Free Press Lead Designer James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at TheGoldKnight.com.