By Brittany Filippini |Staff Writer|
If you’re a big fan of uplifting sports stories and love to see the underdogs succeed against the odds set before them, then Moneyball is a movie you will enjoy.
Moneyball is the story of the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, Billy Beane, who works with a team that defines the word underdog and rises against the odds by using numbers and statistics to create a winning team.
Starring as the Athletics general manager is Brad Pitt. His right hand man throughout the film is Jonah Hill who plays Peter Brand, obviously characterized after Beane’s real life right hand man Paul DePodesta.
Hill is known for his humor and comedic timing within films such as Superbad and Get Him to the Greek, but Moneyball does not showcase a lot of Hill’s comedic side as he plays a more dramatic character in this film.
Previous attempts to enter dramatic roles by well-established comedians such as Jim Carrey, and his attempt at a dramatic role in The Majestic and The Number 23, were mostly flops as the actors were obviously above their heads. However, while there are moments that utilizes Hill’s knack for humor, he is able to skillfully play his dramatic part without seeming unbelievable.
Although the film has a slow pace throughout it, Pitt’s portrayal of a fast-paced general manager looking for any way to improve his team was right on. Pitt is absolutely perfect in his portrayal of an eccentric GM and he is able to master Beane’s facial expressions and mannerisms. Pitt continues to prove that he is a premier actor in Hollywood.
Although Moneyball is a story of the underdogs rising above everyone’s expectations, the heart of the story is the unfair budgets each team has.
Each team in the MLB has a budget each year to cover various expenses and not everyone has the same amount because of the team’s market size and income brought in, as we see in the beginning of the film.
Although Beane works with a small budget compared to that of other major league teams, he finds a way to build his team and work with the qualities they possess in order to be taken as a serious competitor.
If the name Billy Beane is sounding familiar it’s because Beane used to play major league baseball before becoming a general manager.
According to MLB’s website Billy Beane is “Considered one of the most progressive and talented baseball executives in the game today, Billy Beane has molded the Athletics into a perennial postseason contender since assuming the general manager’s duties shortly following the 1997 season.”
According to the New York Times when Beane was asked about his take on the film, he felt nostalgic and said, “I’d see a scene in the locker room with a player’s name on a jersey and think, ‘Oh, yeah, I forgot he was on that team.’”
The movie was based on a true story and was also published as a book in 2003 titled “Moneyball: The Art of Winning the Unfair Game.” The title of the book corresponds to the movie perfectly as it portrays the unfair advantages the Oakland Athletics had to overcome.