Saturday, October 1, 2011

Moneyball - Movie Review

Every so often, and it seems to be happening less and less, I view a movie where I really connect with the story and the actors make the characters believable. money ball is one of those rare movies where it all comes together, a compelling true story and good character development.

The movie is based on the book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis. The story is about the Oakland A's major league baseball team during the end of the 2001 season and through the 2002 baseball season through the perspective of the General Manager, Billy Beane, a former baseball prodigy who never made it in the big leagues. After losing the three stars of the team on whose backs they rode the wave to the 2001 playoffs, the team needs to find an innovative way to replace the talent without increasing the bottom line which is the lowest payroll in baseball. The philosophical change, which eventually revolutionizes baseball, is not an easy sell to the staff.

Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane and does a great job building a character that has many competing facets including a daughter with his divorced wife and the demons of his failures as a player. Jonah Hill, who I have never seen in a serious movie before, plays Peter Brand the knowledgeable statical genius who assists Billy in implementing the plan. His character is far less complex, but he provides the counterpoint for the story line.

The movie comes to a predictable conclusion, since it is a true story and I knew the ending. There are a few factual errors, but the movie and the story are very compelling. It is not just a baseball story--it is a story of people and relationships and the reaction to fundamental change is any endeavor.

RECOMMENDATION: See this movie. It is a great and touching story. And mostly true. Billy Beane is still the general manager for the Oakland A's.



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