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Moneyball

Based on the nonfiction novel of the same name written by Michael Lewis, Moneyball opens viewers eyes to an unseen side of baseball, avoiding sentimentality at times when it seems inevitable. Like the tactics this film portrays, Moneyball takes a left-field approach to the classic sport film.

After an unsuccessful career as a professional baseball player, Brad Pitt’s character Billie Bean is now the general manager (GM) of theOaklandA’s. After losing three key players, Bean is left with a team stuck on a low budget that is unable to complete with the wealthy clubs. After meeting Peter (Jonah Hill), Bean becomes intrigued by Peter’s use of economics and statistics to build a game winning team within theOaklandA’s budget. While getting the coach (Philip Seymour Hoffman) onboard with this new strategy is difficult at first as he remains skeptical, his tune as well as many others is soon changed when the Oakland A’s start winning.

Moneyball avoids the stereotypical cliches of most sports-themed movies by packing it with intelligent dialog and statistics that does not get bogged down by the magical, american-pastime appeal that most baseball movies seem to be consumed in. Nerdiness is in, and Moneyball takes advantage of that fact. It’s very much like the Social Network with a bit more emotion and human struggle.

The cast is excellent by far. Despite Pitt’s role as aHollywoodicon, the film remains grounded and real. Flashbacks depicting a younger Bean (Thompson) do not get lost in nostalgia and his relationships with his ex-wife (Wright) and daughter (Dorsey) are very real. We see Jonah Hill explore a more serious role and come out with great success. Overall Moneyball conveys the belief that while you may not always come out on top, if you stick to a true path, something you believe in, that will be enough.

 

Daniel Hayden

Reviewed by Daniel on 18 April 2012

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