Five Reasons To See ‘Moneyball’

by Brian Phares and Josh Wigler

Moneyball,” directed by Bennett Miller and starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, slides into theaters this weekend, telling the true story of the 2002 Oakland Athletics season.

Pitt stars as Billy Beane, a former Major League Baseball player who now serves as general manager of the A’s in a time of turmoil: the team has lost three of its star players, and lacks the proper funding to compete against the big boys back east. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and with the help of newly appointed assistant general manager Peter Brand (played by Jonah Hill), Beane milks a bad situation for all it’s worth and forms a competitive team out of virtually nothing.

Though not quite a grand slam, “Moneyball” certainly wins the game with a must-see effort for any and all fans of the sports drama. Check out five reasons to see “Moneyball” past the jump.

A Dynamic Duo
I wouldn’t have believed it either, but Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill make for an excellent team. Jonah’s character, Peter Brand, is an unassuming genius of the game, while Brad Pitt plays the only man in the league who is crazy enough, and desperate enough, to believe Brand’s heretical theories on baseball. It’s heartwarming to see the two develop a relationship in which they both rely on each other; Beane for Jonah’s insight, and Brand for Pitt’s faith. -BP

The Politics Of the Game
One of the most fascinating aspects of the film is the glimpse it gives the viewer of just what goes on in the mind of a GM, and the team he has assembled around him to find the best players. One of my favorite scenes of the movie is a round table discussion in which Pitt has assembled his scouts to choose their picks for this season’s draft. The reasoning behind their choices is almost so ludicrous, that I imagine it has to be true. One of the scouts tells Beane not to choose a player because he has an ugly girlfriend, citing the facts, “Ugly girlfriend means no confidence.” Wise words my friend, wise words. -BP

Kerris Dorsey
This is a movie about baseball, yes, but it’s also about Billy’s desperate attempt to get through to the other side of a raw deal still intact. To that end, he’s given support by his young daughter Casey, played by Kerris Dorsey, best known for her recurring role on “Brothers & Sisters.” It’s a small role in terms of screen time, but a big one in terms of heart, and Dorsey shows a lot of promise in her brief appearances in front of the camera. Plus, her character puts forth a soulful song that’s still stuck in my head almost a full week after seeing the movie — in a good way! -JW

The Script
It’s hard to go wrong with a team like Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian, both Oscar winners who bring their A-game to this story about the Oakland A’s. There are countless one-liners that zip and zing their way throughout “Moneyball,” and a lot of the credit goes to the actors for their delivery of said dialogue, but it wouldn’t exist without the rock solid script from Sorkin and Zaillian. My personal favorite, aside from the above-mentioned “ugly girlfriend” observation, is “the metaphor,” both in terms of what it represents for the film and life as a whole, and also in the way it’s delivered. No spoilers here; you’ll know what I mean once you’ve seen the flick. -JW

The Streak
Without a doubt the most thrilling sequence in “Moneyball” is the Oakland A’s historic win streak. After all of the doubts our characters face throughout the film, all of their questionable choices, it all seems to pay off in a big way during the climax of the film. If you are like me and had no idea that this streak even happened, or how it ended, then I won’t spoil it for you. But I will say this: the climax of the film hits it out of the park, and really captures the spirit of the great baseball movies of yore. -BP

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