Making movies about true events from the sports world is one of the toughest jobs in movie industry. The audience get associated with the movie easily and its then a big gamble from the movie maker's point of view. The passion towards the sport would reflect in the opinion towards the movie and it will get easily discarded by the audience if the maker keeps even one wrong step.
Moneyball works very well given all the gambles it has to play with. It is a simple story told beautifully!
Moneyball talks about the baseball managerial career of Billy Jeane(Brad Pitt). He is incharge of a club that has been mediocre in recent past and its upto Billy to revive the fate of the club. In his pursuit of revival, he asks a young,bright economics graduate Peter Brand(Jonah Hill) to assist him. They both team up and try to "replace transfer of popular players" approach with that of statistical computation of cheaper but good players. They face obvious opposition from the core group of advisors and the coach Art Howe(Philip Seymour Hoffman). But, they relentlessly try to implement their approach and the story is then about how Pitt and Hill try to take the club to pinnacle of success.
The main story track is interlaced with two sub plots. One of Billy Jeane's career as player when he got spotted by a club in his teens. Another story track is that of his current personal life. He is a divorcee and gets to meet his daughter every now and then. Director focusses on how Billy coped with his personal conflicts and devils of past to divert all his angst into his baseball job.
The narration basically is made up of extended scenes consisting long conversations. These conversations are made very engaging and interesting by the dialogues that have been written in a clever way. Not once does the pace drop drastically to make the viewer uncomfortable or bored.
Although the story in itself is good and inspiring but its the performances of Pitt, Hill and Hoffman that takes the movie to greater heights. This can be considered as one of their best performances of all time.
The interaction between Pitt and his daughter are very catchy. The sequences are written and executed beautifully. Brad Pitt's internal turmoil has been portrayed very well and the director shows how good he is at his craft.
This movie was touted as Brad Pitt's shot at the Oscars. I'm not sure if he'll be the leading contender but I'm certain that the academy will reward him with a nomination at least. This is more than a wish than a prediction.
Its a very good movie and definitely deserves all the accolades. Watch it!