Bennett Miller (Capote) directing, Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List) and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) writing, Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight) shooting…. All pretty big wows in my book. Then you’ve got Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright and a host of others filling out the cast… And all this for a baseball movie?? Yep. And what an engrossing baseball yarn it is.
Its the story of the 2002 Oakland Athletics Baseball teams player restructure that used statistics over perceived talent to deliver an A grade baseball team. Oakland, whose money reserve to buy players, is roughly 1/3 of everyone else. This provides General Manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) with endless frustration as they simply cannot buy enough talent to garner them wins in the league. And so with a chance meeting Beane meets 25 year old Peter Brand, a player statistician and together they model a new team based on projected performance over contemporary popularity.
What a year 2011 was for Brad Pitt, delivering his two best performances of his career in Terence Malicks unforgettable THE TREE OF LIFE and in MONEYBALL. He’s never been better. The script is taught and has a biting sense of humour, its furious and pacy. The movies 133 minutes flies by and its so handsomely shot and directed the only real drawback I can find for Australian audiences is that it’s about baseball – but that shouldn’t deter you – this is a great ensemble acting piece that’s as riveting and engaging as any other film you can think of.
If it were any other year Brad Pitt would get an Oscar for this.
MONEYBALL releases on BLU-RAY, DVD and DOWNLOAD on APRIL 11, 2012.