A fantastic movie that's great for the whole family!
Baseball, Brad Pitt, Equals a Great movie!
Moneyball is the story of General Manager, Billy Beane, his life in baseball, and his tireless efforts to make the Oakland A's a top-notch baseball team on a shoestring budget. This movie is amazing. Brad Pitt turns in a phenomenal performance as Billy Beane, failed baseball player with nothing more than a high school diploma and an adorable daughter he only gets to see on weekends. Pitt delivers an intense performance as a frustrated guy fighting everyone at every level in baseball.
The main thrust of this story is the fact that if a team does not have big money, they cannot compete. Pitt's entire goal in the movie is to level the playing field so that teams like the Oakland A's can compete at the same level as teams like the Boston Red Sox. He does take his team all the way to the World Series only to lose in the last game, but his method did work. He and his assistant, Peter Brand (played by Jonah Hill) take a math method and use it to snag players that have batting averages that together add up to the same numbers of a big money player and snagging these lower priced players because they can get on base.
Throughout the movie we can see and feel his frustration and pain. His emotions are tangible to the viewing audience. He's intense, charming, and giving possibly the best performance of his career. The little girl who plays his daughter, Casey is an amazing young actress. Casey is wise beyond her years and helps her Dad throughout the movie to see where he might be making mistakes in his personal and professional life. She has an outstanding spotlight scene where she sings. Her singing voice is as beautiful and touching as her performance in the movie. Spoiler Alert: Really cute kid!
Jonah Hill is spot on as the shy nerd that comes in and helps Pitt change the way his coaches and players approach the game of baseball. Philip Seymour Hoffman gives a less than stellar performance and that's very odd because he's usually a fantastic actor. In this film, his character never evolves, he never gets past his power struggle with Pitt over how the team is run.
In the end, Billy Beane does have an impact on the sport of baseball, but not to the degree that really changes anything. The game is still ruled by money and bloated salaries. Today, I saw the cover of the USA Today Sports Paper and it read, " Oakland A's- A Dead Market Team." Billy Beane continues to struggle in his quest to change the world of baseball. It's a noble fight, but a futile exercise. The end of the film is not a downer, but a realistic wrap on a fine film. This film proves that a movie doesn't have to have a sappy Hollywood ending to be good.