Moneyball

Home Run

I don't watch many movies. Most Hollywood fare is poor or worse, mostly aimed at the teenage market. Hollywood knows where the real money lies. Few movies are made specifically for adults.

The other night I watched Moneyball, the movie based on Michael Lewis' successful book of the same name. Towering performances from Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, Jonah Hill, as Peter Brand (Assistant General Manager), Philip Seymour Hoffman as Art Howe (Team Manager), and Ken Medlock as Grady Fuson (Head Scout), make for an enjoyable couple of hours.

Moneyball is essentially two stories interlaced. One of evolution, one of revolution. We follow the two threads throughout the movie. The first thread tells of Billy Beane's (Brad Pitt) rise and demise as a player. The second tells of Beane's revolutionary approach to solving a fundamental, modern-day sports problem; how to build a winning team with limited funds against bigger better funded opponents.

The movies' two streams are sensibly balanced switching from flashback to the present day; slowly unfolding the historical events that impact and influence the outcome. The director Bennett Miller has extracted powerful performances from the characters and managed to hit a winner.

Pitt is superb in the lead role, with an equally strong supporting role from Jonah Hill. Pitt resonates on-screen with anxiety, trepidation, doubt, and frustration. Pitt and Hill carry the movie.

Unlike many sports movies, little time is spent on the field. The movie is mostly played out in the changing room, weights room, team coach office, Beane's office, and pick-up truck.

Moneyball is not a sports movie as such. Moneyball is about success or failure; the pressures and fallout associated with it.

If you haven't seen it, give it a shot.

You'll like it.