Moneyball (2011)

Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport 

Director: Bennett Miller

Writers: Steven Zaillian (screenplay) Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), Stan Chervin (story), Michael Lewis (Book) 

Staring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman 

Rating: ★★★★½


Moneyball is one of my favourite films and its truly brilliant. You know a films great when it focuses on a topic that barely intrigues you but you find yourself watching it being entertained, interested and caught up in the story. Moneyball is that type of film, something a lot of people would be put off by due to its focus on baseball but there’s hidden meanings in this film, and an inspirational story. Based on the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game 2003 but instead of a story this is more like a business meeting with most of the film being inside the head of our two main characters discussing statistics and money. Nevertheless I found myself in awe at the brilliance that is this film.


The story follows Oakland Athletic Baseball Team and their manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt). A former MLB player himself he is now a manager with a pure hatred of losing that inspired him to take the A’s to the World Series, however the harshness of the game saw him lose his three best players to richer, bigger teams offering higher salaries. Beane faces the task of rebuilding his team for the upcoming season but has the issue of an incredibly low-budget. With the help of nerdy, brain-box Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) he manages to come up with a strategy to rate players on their value giving the Oakland Athletics a winning formula. 


Beane faces a lot problems, he has to withstand the pressure from fellow scouts and his boss, who fails to play his chosen players due to not believing in Beane and Brand’s ridiculous strategy. The film has an emotional side plot too,  Beane trying to balance and win in his personal life as well as his managerial. After a failed marriage he is empty and lonely and attempts to save the love that his daughter Casey (Kerris Dorsey) making an emotional touching story as well as an entertaining one.


The performances from both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are absolutely flawless. However the casting of Jonah Hill was a big surprise due to his comedy label it was interesting to see how he would come up against this more serious role but his performance was unbelievably amazing. The screenwriter Aaron Sorkin previously responsible for The Social Network brings the same intelligent depth into Moneyball making it more than just a sport film. 


The film brings a breath of fresh air to the somewhat exhausted predictable “underdog” sports film. Like I said previously its more than a film about baseball and it only enters the field when it’s a crucial moment. For those who don’t like baseball it’s more than a great watch that will drag you into the brilliant story, also providing laughs but those laughs of recognition of real life. Those who do like baseball will begin to realise that it’s a business more than a sport and what happens behind the scenes. It got nominated for an amazing six Oscars and no surprise, it’s a fantastic watch and a real great that should be remembered for a long time.