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.
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