Brad Pitt as Billy Beane

You Don’t have to know, or love, baseball to love “Moneyball”, the new Brad Pitt vehicle. It’s basically an underdog film based on the story of how Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane helped change the way Major League baseball teams evaluate talent. The movie stars Brad Pitt as Beane and Jonah Hill as his assistant, Peter Brand, based on the real-life character of Paul DePodesta, who evidently didn’t want to sign off on his portrayal, so Hill’s character was created. Jonah Hill, a very funny actor, moves up to the Big Leagues with this terrifically understated comic performance. The movie reminds one of last year’s hit film “Social Network”; great script co-written by “Social Network’s” Aaron Sorkin, based on a true story (and a book, “Moneyball”, by Micheal Lewis), with lot’s of tension filled moments. The film guides us though the amazing 2002 season of the Oakland A’s when, after a brutal start trying to figure out how to implement Beane’s utilization of cheap undervalued talent, the team has a spectacular record setting 20 game winning streak. They eventually lose a playoff series to the Minnesota Twins. Twins fans will note that Beane played for the Twins in the mid-80’s, another small market team that made big things happen with a meager payroll. In “A River Runs Through It” Brad Pitt reminded us of a young version of that film’s director, Robert Redford: in “Moneyball”, Pitt might remind you of Redford in his glory years. Pitt gives a great performance, sure to be recognized with an Oscar nomination. Oscar nominated Bennett Miller ( 2005’s “Capote”) directs and does a superb job of humanizing the characters and blending the historical footage with the recreated game action. Great film for fans of…great films.

Rated: PG13

My GPA: 4.0

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