In more ways than one, I didn’t quite know what to expect going into Bennett Miller’s 2011 film Moneyball. For starters, this particular movie happened to be the first I watched from the press row at a screening so I was a little nervous-in-a-good-way to check into the film knowing that I was “officially” reviewing it. On the other hand, I’m not a very big baseball fan. I enjoy going to games but I usually find the sport to be boring if I’m just watching it from my couch. So I was excited and uneasy at the same time. But as it turned out, Moneyball wound up being one of my favorite films of that year. That made this movie for an easy pick for Todd/Forgotten Films’ Big League Blogathon. Take a look at my 5 Favorite Things about the movie.
5. The Seasoned Scouts:
I really dig the screenplay for Moneyball so I’m sure that Aaron Sorkin snap certainly helps with my love for the scenes that feature the player recruiters. Everyone in these scenes play off each other really well and it gives the movie some of its funniest moments.
4. The Supporting Players:
Yes, Jonah Hill received a best supporting Oscar nomination for his role as number cruncher Peter Brand but to be quite honest, I never understood his praise for the movie. I think that he has went on to do much better work (Wolf on Wall Street) but I just didn’t get the fuss about his performance here. What is entirely possibly is that I felt that way because the rest of Moneyball’s supporting cast is so phenomenal. I mentioned earlier all the recruiter’s doing a fine job. In addition, Chris Pratt fits in great for his role as former catcher Scott Hatteberg, Kerris Dorsey is so adorable and more importantly not annoying as Beane’s daughter and I’ll be brief in mentioning Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s brilliance as Art Howe so I don’t start to well up. I even appreciate some of the film’s small cameos as well including Robin Wright and Spike Jonze as Beane’s ex-wife and new beau.
3. The Trade Scene:
This scene absolutely won me over on my initial viewing and has since become my favorite from the film. It’s tense, funny and well acted. I couldn’t find an extended version of this scene that displays more of the buildup but the one above will have to do. At least it still holds on to my favorite moment of the scene – that mean-faced air grab that Hill does when he clinches the trade.
2. Brad Pitt:
I really dig Pitt as a performer. I admire that while his name remains one of the most universally famous celebrity monikers he still doesn’t fit into a type or just one role. He lets his work speak for him and challenges himself with every film he tackles. In Moneyball, Pitt brings a quiet brilliance to his character. Between his scenes with his daughter to the moments spent in Beane’s alone time during games, you get a great grasp on the character.
1. “How can you not get romantic about Baseball?”:
I love that quote from the film. Like I stated in my introduction, I’m not really a baseball fan but Moneyball does a lovely job creating a soul for the game. It is such a sweet anecdote presented by Hill’s character and the “It’s a metaphor line” perfectly caps the little emotional grab. The magic of baseball is hard to escape and will certainly resonate with you well after viewing.