Moneyball tells the true story of Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) who despite a tiny budget uses a system of statistics devised by himself and Yale graduate Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) to take a no-hoper baseball team to the top of league and almost to a World Series. There is a long standing cliche associated with sports films, where a team of no-hopers gets a new coach and then goes on to win the title. This seems to be a cliche the film is actively trying to avoid since it really focuses in on the bad times and arguments but then as soon as things go well, events are skipped or glossed over. There is no real payoff, no ‘I told you so’ moments to all the people who doubted Beane, and during big wins you just get lots shots of Brad Pitt sitting by himself in the dressing room. It doesn’t make this a worse film, but given this is largely a success story, it does seem a little strange at times.
It’s actually very well made, has well defined characters and it’s interesting too, although I would say it’s not *that* interesting. Beyond the baseball and statistics there is just something lacking to make it a great film. It’s possibly extra emotional depth in the human relationships, not helped because Beane by his nature is quite an uncommunicative character. Beane’s relationship with Brand is actually very well realised but then there are a number of scenes with Beane and his daughter which seem to have been included especially just to add a little emotion depth. These while genuinely touching at times, do also feel a litte tacked on, especially since his daughter (beyond a phonecall and song at the end) is then largely absent for the final third of the film. It’s a good film though and definitely worth watching. 7/10