Baseball is a sport that has been riddled with problems in recent years, including steroid abuse and wide payroll disparities. “Moneyball,” unlike other baseball movies, is not directly about the sport, but rather the economics behind the creation of a team. Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics, portrayed by Brad Pitt, was given the impossible task of creating a winning baseball team with no money and no star players.
The movie began with the Athletics’ loss of their three star players, including Jason Giambi, to teams with larger payrolls. Given less than twenty million dollars for a budget, Beane had little room to work with when it comes to drafting players, who cost a minimum of $200,000 each.
Jonah Hill played Peter Brand, a young graduate from Yale University who, despite or perhaps because of having little knowledge of baseball fundamentals, questioned long-standing recruitment procedures. Brand used math and a self-derived formula for a player’s ability to get on base and score runs to evaluate utility instead of conventional methods. Therefore, after adopting Brand’s strategy, Beane drafted players who walked often or were considered useless or odd, but not those who bunted frequently.
During the course of the movie, Beane led the Athletics to the longest winning streak in baseball history, a path on which anxiety, drama, comedy, suspense, and despair followed him. He believed that he was jinxed. Whether he was reconciling differences with his wife, supporting his young daughter, or not watching a baseball game, nothing in Beane’s life took a positive turn. This remained true until the end of the film. His daughter’s words describe how he felt about himself perfectly, “You’re such a loser, dad.” However, his legacy was completely different.
Pitt and Hill worked almost flawlessly together. Pitt brought his best to this film with great drama, anger, and passion. Though it was a departure from his usual roles, Hill played an astute Yale graduate well. Scene transitions were impressive and flowed smoothly as flashbacks and scene cuts filled in pivotal information about Beane’s past and present. The lighting in the movie also portrayed emotion. In addition to being dark for angry and light for happy or hopeful, light was used to encourage disgust or to describe something Beane found unpleasant. The film’s music was dramatic and simple. It also dropped out at key moments when Beane was at his lowest. It was actions like these that brought out this film’s most dramatic and climactic moments.
Critics and fans agree that this film is great. The combination of amazing acting, suspenseful and delicate music, and furious passion allows viewers to really connect with the actors in the film. Therefore, this film receives a solid 9.1/10.