I have never really had any kind of connection to sports movies throughout my entire life. Sure, there was “Space Jam”, but that was when I was a dumb kid, But I am talking about a real and genuine connection of emotion and inspiration, a connection that feels personal. Either it’s because I have never found a sports movie that have had that type of resonance or it’s because I have pushed them out like “No, get out!”.
Ladies and gentlemen… “Moneyball”.
In “Moneyball” we have the true story of Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) who is/was the general manger of the baseball team “The Oakland A’s”. We see how he assembles a team based on computer analysis and numbers rather than the typical physical traits that talent scouts were looking for. And I was invested the whole way through and I think that might come from the really great screenplay. I can also say that I was emotionally invested in the story… yeah. Me, a lazy, sports-disliking jerk was emotionally invested in a sports movie. Now to be fair, this movie is more about what happens behind the scenes of it all rather than on the playing field itself and I like how they did it.
The characters in this movie all feel real, they all feel like they had a life before/outside the movie. Like I mentioned in my “Paranoid Park” review, those are the best kinds of characters. And the acting was really good. Brad Pitt knocked it out of the park (Pun intended) in this movie. I think I am justified in saying that he is one of my favorite actors. Jonah Hill was also great in the movie, playing the guy who helps Brad Pitt apply the math and statistics for finding the players they need. I’m not gonna lie, when I think of Jonah Hill I don’t think “Great actor”, I think “Guy with slightly bigger physique in comedies”. But still, he was great in this movie. Philip Seymour Hoffman didn’t have that much to do in the movie, but when he was on screen he was good. Also, this movie has Chris Pratt in it. I was actually surprsied to see that when I saw the movie. But everybody was great in the movie.
The score for the movie was done by Mychael Danna and I can safely say that he did an excellent job with it. It is big, it is dramatic and it is emotionally powerful. I’m not kidding, just listening to it makes me get all fuzzy and emotional inside. Yeah, it is that great.
The movie was directed by Bennett Miller who I have seen nothing from before this. I know that he directed Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie “Capote” and I know he made last year’s “Foxcatcher” which also was a sports movie. So I can safely say that I am looking forward to seeing those movies because this movie looks fantastic. The shots look great and it all just comes together nicely. And like I said earlier, the screenplay is fantastic. It was written by Steve Zaillian who wrote “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “American Gangster”, two movies that I liked. But Zaillian wasn’t alone on screenplay duty, he was helped by Aaron Sorkin who wrote “The Social Network” which I enjoyed. In other words, this screenplay is as airtight as it can get.
This movie has been incredibly well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 95% positive rating with a “Fresh” ceritication. On Metacritic it has a score of 87/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie was also nominated for 6 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (Pitt), Best Supporting Actor (Hill), Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay.
“Moneyball” is a sports movie that i think both fans of baseball and sports haters can enjoy. It has a solid plot, great acting, a great soundtrack, great directing and an airtight screenplay. Time for my final score. *Swings bat* Aaaaaand it’s a homerun! He runs around the field and gets an envelope of some kind! My final score for “Moneyball” is a 9,88/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
“Moneyball” is now reviewed.
Hey batter batter, swing!