starring Brad PItt, Jonah Hill, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman
directed by Bennett Miller
and screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, based on a novel by Michael Lewis
Despite my general reluctance towards the sports genre in general, I do have a soft spot in my heart for baseball, and the reviews pulled me into this one. Moneyball is a lot of things, but what it most importantly isn’t is a cheesy cliché of the sports genre. That’s not to say that there isn’t a lot that’s inspiring about this movie, but it notably breaks beyond the mold to be a clever drama. The true story of Billy Beane, general manager for the Oakland A’s, could very easily fall into monotony, but the structure of this film is well-composed. Bennett’s use of lighting, sound, and stock footage creates a dynamic picture within which the film can be enjoyed. The cinematography is full of variety, and versatility that gives the film fullness. The plot creates a film that tells a baseball story, and yet does not bear the audience down with baseball. You definitely don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this movie (but you might enjoy it even more if you are). Though on the longer side, this film doesn’t relent, rarely losing momentum to superfluity. It’s a carefully executed, smoothly designed film. Both Pitt and Hill play to their opposites, both more reserved, not overtly comic characters, and do so with honesty and precision. The story is full of laugh-out-loud moments, as well as touching conversations. Through the wonderful execution of this film, Beane’s words ring true: how can you not get romantic about baseball?
Final Score: 3.9 out of 5
Next? Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb