Moneyball

(2011)

Genres: Biography, Drama, Sports

Review: Moneyball

Transcript for Review: Moneyball

CHRISTY:
Yes, Sony Pictures Classics has an excellent track record.  They really do.  They choose intelligent, beautiful films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, An Education, Run Lola Run; really important indie films so it’s good to have them out there.  Okay, so we asked you to vote online for movies that you wanted to see us review from our time away. One of the overwhelming choices was “Moneyball,” based on the best seller about how a bunch of stat geeks changed the way baseball players are evaluated. Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, general manger of the low-budget Oakland A’s, who pioneered this concept with the help of a recent Yale grad played by Jonah hill.  

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Now this wouldn’t seem like an inherently cinematic concept, but the interplay between Pitt and Hill – their banter and the contrast in their personalities -- is what makes “Moneyball” work. Pitt is at his charismatic best here, charming and cajoling but also a little weary and weathered. And this is the best work we’ve seen from Hill – it’s a more reserved role and it’s a joy to see him find the quiet confidence in his character. The pacing is a bit off – it starts and stops and doesn’t really feel like it’s building toward anything. And baseball experts will be justified in finding things to nitpick. But you don’t have to know what on-base plus slugging means to enjoy “Moneyball.” Thumbs up from me.

IGNATIY:  I barely even know what a base is.  My understanding of the rules of baseball is very, very rudimentary.  I enjoyed this film, as well, and like you with certain reservations.  I think you’re very right about the pacing.  I think it’s a little bit off and it’s often difficult to tell where the film is really, what its really building towards.