Watch Moneyball (2011) | Synopsis and Review

 After earning a Best Director nomination at The 78^th Annual Academy Awards for his directing of Capote (2005), Bennett Miller returned to the directing chair to direct Moneyball, a sports-themed film based on the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning An Unfair Game (2003) written by Michael Lewis. Even though it is a sports-themed film, Moneyball is not just a film with an inspiring storyline that only tells the story of a group of people who are on their journey of life in carving out an important record of achievement in a sport. Moneyball views sporting events as a statistical and mathematical record. Sounds complicated, but Miller managed to direct the story script written by Steven Zaillian (American Gangster, 2007) and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, 2010) into a familiar dish with a different taste but still

can look just as attractive.

Based on a true story about the struggles of the Oakland Athletics baseball team which continued to suffer defeat in the 2001 season of Major League Baseball, Moneyball focuses its story on the character of Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) who becomes the general manager for the baseball team. Billy is trying to find a proper solution for the team he leads after some of the team's most famous and reliable players are sold to other, more powerful teams. Meanwhile, the leaders of Oakland Athletics simply don't want to spend too much money buying talented players who can help the team perform. It is definitely a challenge for Billy to be able to form a strong flagship team.

Billy then meets Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a young man who works as a player analyst for the Cleveland Indians team. Peter, who is a graduate majoring in Economics from Yale University, has a unique theory that allows him to calculate an athlete's ability to then compare and make what the athlete's price is really worth. Interested in Peter's theory which he believes will be able to provide him with many competent players but at an affordable price, Billy finally hires Peter as his assistant. Slowly, Billy and Peter began to reshuffle the composition of the Oakland Athletics team. Although some of their decisions have received sharp criticism from the baseball team's stockholders, Billy and Peter are confident that if managed properly, the talents they have selected will be able to advance as a group of winning baseball players.


The collaboration between Steven Zaillan and Aaron Sorkin turned out to be able to translate many precious moments in the journey of a sports team into a very interesting story to follow thanks to the lines of dialogue that they compiled for Moneyball. Both of them also tend not to be too involved in presenting various cliché elements of a sports-themed film in this film, which further makes Moneyball able to distinguish itself from many sports-themed films released by Hollywood. Unfortunately, those expecting a high-intensity presence from the depiction of a baseball game in Moneyball will likely be disappointed by the lack of such depiction in this film. Even so, when Bennett Miller decided to include this element, Miller used it as a scene full of high emotional quality.

From the acting department, Moneyball is also supported by a line of actors who really know how to bring their characters to life. Brad Pitt provided an excellent role as Billy Beane. Even though the character doesn't seem to be able to do much to earn him many acting awards – due to the character's lack of emotional exploration – Pitt's performance is still a high class performance that is so prime. Likewise with what is displayed by Jonah Hill, who sometimes seems to be poorly explored, but is able to produce the right chemistry when he is paired with Pitt in the storyline.

Besides Pitt and Hill, Moneyball also features other acting talents such as Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pratt to Robin Wright. If they wished, Zaillan and Sorkin could have developed a more in-depth story about Billy Beane's character's relationship with Oakland Athletics coach Art Howe, played by Seymour Hoffman, or Billy's relationship with Scott Hatteberg, a player who is underestimated by so many but is believed to have extraordinary talent. ordinary and played by Pratt or Billy's relationship with Sharon, his ex-wife, played by Wright. The interweaving of these supporting stories may be able to help many ordinary viewers better appreciate the elements of Moneyball drama. However, Zaillan and Sorkin chose to focus the storyline on the character of Billy Beane and his actions in bringing back the Oakland Athletics baseball team. And it was that decision that managed to make Moneyball far from the standard impression.

Moneyball may not be a standard sports-themed film that can easily captivate the audience. Combining inspirational classic stories a la sports themed films with statistical calculations in the storyline, Moneyball will be able to capture the attention of the audience even though it seems to run with the rhythm and intensity of the story which is quite slow in some parts. Even so, Moneyball has succeeded in proving Bennett Miller's skills to direct the dramatization of a storyline so as not to end up as a cliché story while simultaneously bringing out the best acting potential from the ranks of the acting department filler.

Moneyball (Columbia Pictures/Scott Rudin Productions/Michael De Luca Productions/Film Rites/Specialty Films, 2011)

Moneyball (2011)

Directed by Bennett Miller Produced by Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt Written by Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), Stan Chervin (story), Michael Lewis (book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game) Starring Brad Pitt , Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pratt, Casey Bond, Stephen Bishop, David Hutchison, Robin Wright, Kerris Dorsey, Robert Kotick, Spike Jonze, Joe Satriani Music by Mychael Danna Cinematography Wally Pfister Editing by Christopher Tellefsen Studio Columbia Pictures/Scott Rudin Productions/Michael De Luca Productions/Film Rites/Specialty Films Running time 133 minutesCountry United States Language English

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