By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Feb 15, 2012 at 3:04 PM

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.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.