DIRECTOR: Bennett Miller
The film is about confidence and the ability to take a risk to be confident.
When the poster and trailer to a film says Based on a true story it means three things.
- It could have a happy ending
- A reliable drama
- The film wants you to focus on story and character
Because we already know this before watching the film, we can watch it and see how well executed it performs all of these elements. The very fact that it has Brad Pitt, Phillip Seymour Hoffman along with Jonah Hill in it lends itself to all three points straight away. The late Phillip Seymour Hoffman was always reliable in both lead and supporting roles. Brad Pitt can take himself more seriously these days and this film shows Pitt not playing it safe but dramatic. Jonah Hill now makes better choices. Whether or not the film has a happy ending, we no longer care about because our love of the cast has won us over. As viewers we watch the cast of actors and see them perform and measure them against who their characters are and if we like what we see. Arron Sorkin’s script does show raw drama and all players make this come to life.
So, what is Moneyball about? Pitt plays Billy Beane, a General Manager for baseball team the Oakland A’s and has lost players, now he needs new ones. Trouble is there’s no money at the club and his scout committee want players that cost too much. Enter Peter Brand (Hill) a Yale Economics nerd who Beane buys from another club. Brand has fresh ideas that Beane agrees with. The idea is not to buy expensive players but cheap players that statistically can prove themselves in certain ways on the baseball field. This is met with a huge standoff from both the committee and Coach Howe (Hoffman). They don’t want to play numbers and statistics, they want Baseball.
“Adapt or Die” Billy Beane says.
We see Billy Beane struggle internally if he has made the right choices, we see his face in his hands asking himself “What the hell am I doing?” yet in the following scene he states to club owners ” I believe in what I’m doing.” Beane is divided himself and needs to believe in his own risk taking.
This is a film for entrepreneurs and people wanting success. It shows that it is a tough journey to the top. Stop being a defeatist and get out there and do it.
Brad Pitt as Billy Beane
Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Art Howe
Jonah Hill as Peter Brand