Director: Bennett Miller
Stars: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright
BASED on Michael Lewis’s 2003 non-fiction book of the same name, Moneyball is a baseball movie with a difference.
Brad Pitt stars as Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane, who controversially embraces a mathematics-based system to put together a cost-effective line-up for the 2002 Major League Baseball season. Aided by Assistant General Manager Peter Brand (Hill), ballsy Beane ignores players’ personalities and perceived ‘marketability’ to create a winning formula that sees his squad make history and change the face of the game.
Beautifully directed by Bennett Miller (Capote), the film focuses on Beane’s unwavering determination to make the most of what he has in a very hostile environment. Jonah Hill is excellent as the conservative Brand – the brains behind the operation – and Pitt delivers a fantastic, subdued performance as the constantly under-siege Beane.
The story primarily unfolds in the backrooms of stadiums, so there’s not a lot of baseball on show, and you certainly don’t need to know much about the sport to enjoy the movie. It’s a classic David vs Goliath battle that could easily have fallen flat, particularly with non-US audiences, but the skills of the people involved elevate it to a higher level. We wouldn’t be surprised if Moneyball becomes a modern American classic.