Fantasy baseball: The Movie. Otherwise known as Moneyball. Now, I really don’t care for baseball, especially modern day baseball, but the behind the scenes aspect of it did intrigue me enough to see this movie. And lets face it, I was also there for the Sorkin script and the Pitt performance.
First the story, which tells how Billy Beane and Peter Brand of the Oakland A’s used a new statistical approach to building a baseball team. This true story is very well told and has a lot of highs and lows which keep you tuned in, but never over exaggerates either of those hills or valleys. The pacing is a lot slower than I expected, but that’s not really a bad thing, its just taking its time. It does finish with a weak ending mind you, which is common for films based on real-life stories which rarely have cinematic endings.
Both Sorkin’s script and Pitt’s performance were different than what I expected, but I still found them very good. With Sorkin, who wrote last year’s brilliant The Social Network, I expected fast, witty dialogue, but what I got was a much different Sorkin than I’ve ever seen. The dialogue was no longer fast, but still maintained every ounce of wit. It was actually quite nice to see Sorkin try something new and succeed.
Brad Pitt as Billy Beane was also a great performance, but again not what I expected. The trailers had led me to believe that he was a very charismatic and free-wheeling kind of guy, but he was a lot more serious and subdued. At points I found it sort of depressing, but at others I really appreciated how Pitt was able to give depth to this former ball player who sees the need to level the playing field in his favourite sport. And Jonah Hill as Peter Brand manages to play off Pitt really well. I always looked forward to scenes with them together.
A solid effort which moves at a slow pace, though a slow pace seems just about right for this snail-paced sport.