Baseball is unlike any other sport on the planet, and Moneyball, a true story directed by Bennett Miller, shows just how unbelievably interesting and controversial the world of Major League Baseball can be.
Brad Pitt plays Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane during their unlikely and successful 2002 season. He is able to assemble, on a budget that equaled almost one-fourth of the New York Yankees, an extremely successful season where the A’s broke the major league record for consecutive wins, putting together an amazing 20-game streak.
Jonah Hill plays Peter Brand, Beane’s right-hand man and the brains behind the operation, as the two shake things up by using a system based on computer-generated numbers and statistics to put together a team that can compete with the wealthy organizations of the league.
The movie does a spectacular job of showing the inner workings of an MLB organization and the corrupt and extremely personal scouting system.
The cast works magic as you feel like you are reliving the A’s fantastic season from behind the curtain. Beane’s story of faith and persistence is underlined by his own personal story of an over-hyped, young baseball player that never met expectations of scouts. The dialog keeps the movie flowing and has a constant amount of baseball humor to keep you chuckling the whole way through.
Actual footage of the season helps bring the real excitement of baseball to the story and makes you feel a connection to the team. Baseball in itself does not need Hollywood to make it any more dramatic, and this movie speaks to that point with no gimmicks or movie tricks to try to enhance the story.
The movie stays pure to the sport, guaranteeing that any fan of baseball will fall in love with this film. What gives this movie the extra nod of approval is the fact that this is a recent story, taking place only nine years ago. You understand why Beane’s actions are so important and had an impact on the game forever. Baseball is sometimes a movie in itself and, to quote Beane from the movie, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?”
In my opinion, truer words have never been spoken. Moneyball is a must see and can be added to the list of classic movies based on the beautiful sport of baseball.
Tyler Stinson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org