When the Academy Awards roll around I try to see as many of the movies in contention as I can. "Moneyball" was on my list last weekend and it turned out to be a lot better than I ever thought it would be.
I lived through the 2002 baseball season and remember the Oakland A's. I know the story of Billy Beane and I know about Sabermetrics. It's an OK story but I wondered if it could carry an entire movie.
Well, it turns out "Moneyball" is less about baseball and a lot more about commitment and belief. It's about fighting the "this is how we've always done it" attitude that has an impact on everything from education to politics to social interactions.
I thought Brad Pitt was pretty good, although I wonder about his nomination for Best Actor. He's cute as all get out, as always, but I've always been concerned about his depth as an actor. I think he's so good looking that he has an impact just by showing up on the screen, and he knows it.
But Jonah Hill delivers a wonder as Pitt's muse. Maybe I've got a thing for fat Jewish guys with glasses and a strong core of belief, but Hill provides both drama and humor and a base for Pitt to run to when he seems like he's about to get lost.
There is another minor character worth seeing. An actor named Stephen Bishop, who played minor league baseball, plays veteran outfielder David Justice and his portrayal is about as accurate a depiction of a professional athlete as I've ever seen.
One more thing that's important. Sports movies normally have a tough time making the action on the field look realistic. Not here. With a mix of actual footage from that season and staging that seems just as real, "Moneyball" is a movie fit for baseball fans and everyone else.
DT | Feb. 16, 2012 at 10:03 a.m. (report)
This movie has been staring at me on Netlix for too long. Gotta watch it this weekend. Continue to hear great things.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published May 3, 2016
Being an Uber driver in Milwaukee is a one-of-a-kind experience that allows Dave Begel to meet some of the city's most interesting people. Everybody has a story, and Tales from the Road will highlight some of those stories.
Published April 30, 2016
Playwright August Wilson is famous for his 10-play cycle examining the experience of black people in the United States, and none of his plays stands as revered as "Fences," which The Rep opened Friday night.
Published April 29, 2016
A play about life in the theater, a life full of ups and downs and in betweens, is sometimes a shaky thing, trying to connect with an audience that may or may not have the inside knowledge that you need to get all the jokes.
Published April 28, 2016
In our lust to keep Milwaukee a happy place for millions of millennials, are we going to get stuck with a bunch of buildings that look like they belong in a Saturday morning cartoon?
Published April 26, 2016
Several Milwaukee theaters - from The Rep to First Stage to Next Act and more - have become crusaders for the world around them, staging productions and activities that try to shed light on a wide variety of social issues.
Published April 23, 2016
Place. Play. Performance. When all three P's are there, a night at the theater can turn into magic, and that's what you get at "Ernest in Love" that opened at In Tandem Theatre Friday night.
Published April 21, 2016
Everybody in Wisconsin was all worked up about the presidential primary races a couple of weeks ago but the race between Sen. Ron Johnson and former Sen. Russ Feingold could have a lasting impact on the balance of power in Washington.
Published April 19, 2016
The recent staging of the touching hit musical "Once" that played a week at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts raised an issue that some people think is important to the quality of a production.
Published April 16, 2016
For a master class on how to put a drunk scene on stage, let me recommend "Fallen Angels," the Noel Coward drawing room comedy that opened Friday night at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre.
Published April 16, 2016
Hotel rooms are expanding with openings imminent or on the drawing board for the near future. Perhaps the one drawing the most attention is the Klimpton Journeyman Hotel, scheduled to open in the Historic Third Ward in June.