58: Moneyball

Moneyball – September 23, 2011
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Written by: Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian
Directed by: Bennett Miller

The plot: “The story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.” – IMDB

My thoughts: I kind of like that Aaron Sorkin has this penchant to write quality films out of a story that sounds…dry, to say the least. I mean, The Social Network was about the kid who created Facebook and even though the story wasn’t actually that crazy, it made for an interesting film. Same with Moneyball.

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for Brad Pitt (even though, was it just me or did his face look a little bit plastic-y?) so I went into knowing I’d at least be biased in that direction. Jonah Hill was actually quite pleasant as a likable, shy geek who finds his way by working with Pitt.

Lucky for me, I don’t follow baseball. I understand it quite well thanks to more than a decade of playing softball, but I didn’t know what the outcome would be which kept me interested. I had to know if the GM would succeed in getting the A’s all the way to the top.

I found one part of the movie to be a bit unnecessary and that was Billy’s (Pitt) daughter/ex-wife. I simply didn’t find it integral to the portrayal of Billy Beane. I’m not sure if the addition of that part of yes, his real life, was intended to make him more relatable, but I just didn’t find it to be an necessary plot point.

The acting was great. I’m not sure many of the characters had to reach especially far to capture their character’s personalities, but everyone was really enjoyable to watch on the screen. Brad Pitt was, as almost always, a sympathetic and honorable character and Philip Seymour Hoffman was kind of a dick.

I was rooting for Billy to succeed and have everyone respect what he’d done so I think it was mission accomplished by writers and director. I was invested and interested and exited VLC feeling satisfied. Plus, a lot of the visuals were really gorgeous, so it was pleasant to watch as well.

Stars: 5/5

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