Last night I saw Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.
The story chronicles the rise of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane (Pitt) after he adapted the concept of choosing players based on statistical analysis of their abilities.
Beane was faced with a potential losing team in 2002 and a lack of budget to rectify the situation—he caught wind of an analyst, Peter Brand (Hill), who had a theory about recruiting talent based on mathematical equations and hired him. In real-life, “Peter” is really “Paul” and he went to Harvard, not Yale. But who really cares, right? A good story is a good story and this one happens to be well-told on the big screen.
Aside from the slow beginning, the film’s pace will keep you watching even if you could care less about baseball. The magic of Aaron Sorkin (who co-wrote the screenplay) is evidenced in the clever dialog; the bromance between Pitt and Hill adds a spark to the rest of the story, which is alternately nail-biting tense and satisfying.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman is great as the understated team manager Art Howe and Robin Wright makes a great cameo as Beane’s ex-wife, Sharon. All of the players are also well-cast, some truly resembling their real-life counterparts, and no one jumps out as unrealistic or cartoonish (except perhaps Sharon’s second husband, but his appearance is so brief it’s not too annoying).
There’s also a healthy balance of on-field (real life and reenacted) footage and locker room chatter. Really, there’s not much wrong with this film.
If you want a somewhat lighthearted, engaging two hours of entertainment, go see it.