Shining as A's General Manager Billy Beane, a former fielder who bombed the majors as a player, Brad Pitt is Miller's underdog innovator trapped in baseball's dated paradigm. Cocky in a high school star athlete sort of way, Pitt is masterfully authentic in digging into the complexities of the divorced father experiencing meaning in his life by redefining baseball strategy. In this sense, the antagonist isn't a person, or even a character, but an ineffective system reflecting American decay and technological renewal. "Is an algorithm more effective than an experienced professional?" is the central question guiding the plot, breeding a relatable range of self-doubt, insecurity, and courage. Thematically, this translates to, rather Darwinian, "adapt or die" -style lessons on the risks of questioning accepted norms in the name of progress. The story may not be sweet, Pitt's Beane discusses the romance of baseball while he ironically is accused of destroying baseball's mythic romance, but Pitt still shares tender moments. This juxtaposition puts Pitt's impressive versatility on full display - he swings from the ruthless GM trading away his players to the vulnerable dad enchanted by parental love. The best part? He does it in a low-key, natural style that makes it seem effortless. Jonah Hill stars as supporting actor, shining light on Beane's doubts and obstacles.
With a stand-out performance by Pitt and masterful directing by Miller, Moneyball proves an original, beautiful, and insightful take on a data revolution indicative of the times.
The plot of the film works by making baseball and its analyses cool and entertaining, keeping the viewer attentive at all times, and also giving its main character depth and development, making this real-life figure much more interesting, and succeeding in not transforming Pitt's character into yet another cliche sports movie coach, or in this case, general manager. This is a great story about baseball and the complexity of the sport that deserved to be told, director Bennett Miller could not have done a better job.
The cast is certainly the best thing about "Moneyball", there's no miss. Brad Pitt gives a praiseworthy performance as he nails the part of Beane, and beside him, doing an even better job is Jonah Hill, the actor does a quiet, yet great performance that stands in the cast. In supporting roles we see (and reminisce) Philip Seymour Hoffman, as always, doing a fine job in the role of coach Art Howe, but the man that caught my eye, and surprised me the most was Chris Pratt, yeah. Pratt is here, as we've never seen him before, from his first scene where we see his character looking down and depressed due to the failure of his career, to his last as see him doing the Home run point. He's been variating between his usual comedy movies and Tv to do more serious roles in drama films, those include his minor appearances in the critically acclaimed films, "Her" and "Zaro Dark Thirty", and the main role as Star-Lord in the new Marvel franchise "Guardian of the Galaxy". As someone who've watched him grow from "Parks and Rec' " to now, I couldn't be happier for the guy.
In the end, "Moneyball" is really well acted, written and directed film with great production value in sound, editing, and music, its a great film for the genre lovers, as it is for the usual movie joe, it's a must-see. 4/5.
Could be a bit boring for people who don't like numbers, but if you have even a slight interest in sports statistics, you'll love this movie. Lots of funny parts too.
Watched on Netflix at home, August 13, 2016.
In a Nutshell: Based on a true story, this smart sports movie hits a home run. The heavy-hitting cast includes Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman (I miss him), Robin Wright, and Chris Pratt.
"Adapt or die." - Billy Beane (Brad Pitt)
"How can you not be romantic about baseball?" - Billy
"I'll change the game. I want it to mean something." - Billy
Baseball is about people, not statistics.
"There is an epic failure going on in the game to understand what is going on." -Peter Brand (Jonah Hill)
Things I liked:
Director Bennett Miller uses interesting camera angles to help you "see" things differently. He also jumps from the roar of the crowd to complete silence to help you "feel" things differently.
Writer Aaron Sorkin is a master at quick-talking deals and clever wit. Some of the dialogues are simply hysterical.
Brad Pitt gives a stirring performance, even though most of the time he is snacking on something or chewing gum.
You hear the voice of sports announcers Bob Costas and Tim McCarver.
Things I didn't like:
At times the flashbacks get jumbled up with the present day and break up the flow of the story.
I hate it when brilliant, visionary protagonists get away with being jerks. For example, Billy is constantly pushing over desks and throwing chairs in tantrums.
If you're not a baseball fan, you might be a little bored at first and not understand some of the references to legends and players. Keep watching.
"I'm not going to fire you." - Billy
"F-You!" - Grady Fusion (Ken Medlock)
"Now I am." - Billy
"Who's Fabio?" - John Poloni (Jack McGee)
"That sounds like fortune cookie wisdom to me, Billy." - Grady
"No, that's just logic." - Billy
"I asked you to do 3 evaluations. How many did you do?" - Billy
"47. Actually, 51. I don't know why I lied just then." - Peter
"Do you want me to speak?" - Peter
"Yeah, when I point at you." - Billy
"It's not that hard. Tell him, Wash." - Billy
"It's incredibly hard." - Ron Washington (Brent Jennings)
"Good meeting. Every time we talk, I'm reinvigorated by the love of the game." - Billy, sarcastically to Art Howe (Phillip Seymour Hoffman)
"What's your biggest fear?" - David Justice (Stephen Bishop)
"A baseball being hit in my general direction." - Scott Hatteberg (Chris Pratt)
"No. Seriously." - David
"Seriously, that's it." - Scott
"When you get the answer you're looking for, hang up."
"You may not look like a winning team, but you are one. So, play like one tonight."
"Is losing fun? Then what are you doing having fun?"
Tips for parents:
2 F-bombs. Wait, this is PG-13 movie, right? According to the MPAA, PG-13 movies are only allowed 1 F-bomb, unless a vote earns a two-thirds majority saying it's ok to have more. Lame.
There's a scene where a baseball player starts to take his pants down and dances on a table, but you don't see anything.
It's actually a really safe movie for kids, although they may be a bit bored with all of the talk of statistics and economics of the game.