Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Still, even with the power of Pitt I was a bit apprehensive to dedicate two and a half hours of time I should really be studying in to a film about baseball. I don't know shit about baseball, and to be honest I don't really want to know shit about baseball. But that very fact is a testament to how well crafted Moneyball is.
Despite following the story of Billy Beane (Pitt) and his newest employee Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) as they shift the focus of managing the Oakland A's from traditional managing to relying on cold hard statistics and figures, the inescapable romanticism that runs in the veins of any sports film remains. Beane's love for the game, and his passion for wanting to make it fair generates this romanticism, even with the best attempts to remain businesslike about it. Frequent, flash-fast outbursts of both anger and joy reveal Billy to not be the uncaring boss that he appears to many to be.
Even though the film is built around baseball, you don't have to know anything about the game to get it. At its heart the film is really about Billy settling the score with himself and dealing with his past failures in the game and in life in general. Sure, if you know the game inside out you might get a little more out of the montages and background chatter, but if you can understand the difference between "winning" and "not losing", in any sense, then you'll be able to understand Moneyball.
It's a truly great film, and probably the best sport film I've seen. It might not necessarily have the flashy pay-off of films like Mean Machine or Goal, but there's much, much more in terms of storytelling (thanks in no small part to Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian's screenplay) and overall quality.