What’s it About?
Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.
Directed by Bennett Miller
10 out of 10
I was not expecting this. A movie about baseball’s business side directed by a guy who hadn’t made a film in 6 years (Also, only his 3rd directing effort) and co-starring Jonah Hill from “Superbad” being the best film I’ve seen from 2011? You bet! “Moneyball” is a smart, sophisticated, and purely enjoyable trip through the life of an MLB general manager who’s desire to win is only matched by his financial limitations within baseball’s monetary system.
We’ve all seen it year after year. The big money clubs like the Red Sox, Yankees, and Cardinals make it to the postseason year after year because their budgets are 3 times or more than the poorer teams. But, every once in a while a team like the A’s or the Twins make it in.
Well, how does that happen in a sport without a salary cap to keep the teams matched competitively Ala the NFL? You have to break apart what makes a winning ball club and see if there’s a way to make your team better by finding undervalued and cheaper alternative players. This film is so brilliant at breaking this down in a way where those who are MLB fanatics as well as those who could care less for baseball will find it interesting and easy to understand. At this point if you’re thinking this is a boring trip down sport’s financial system, think again.
The entire movie is populated with fantastic acting across the board that bring their characters to life. All of the interpersonal relationships within the DNA of a professional sports team are explored in interesting and thought provoking ways. It also explores what makes Brad Pitt’s character tick. We learn about his relationship with his daughter, his own playing career experiences and how they relate to how he handles his job, and how he relates to the the coaches and ball players.
I mentioned the performances before but I have to single out Brad Pitt who is growing one of the great movie resumes of all time. He is absolutely note perfect as Billy Beane. He conveys all of his thoughts without even saying a word at times and when he does speak, he brings the business side of baseball to life. I mentioned before that this film is my favorite pick from 2011. I’ll take it one step further. It’s one of the greatest sports films ever made.