(out of 5)

With the Oakland Athletics soon to suffer the loss of star players and the ball club not in its pinkest years, general manager Billy Beane () has to find a way to put together a crack team of athletes on a constricted budget that will hopefully yield results on the field. A chance encounter with a geeky numbers expert () reveals to Beane the possibility of a new way of assembling a team: not just on the knowledge and instincts of scouts, but by crunching numbers in some obscurely magical way (the film doesn’t go too far out of its way to explain and, as an audience member, you don’t really mind) and realizing that there are players out there with downsides (known injuries, compromising lifestyles) that could actually work in the team’s favour. Beane takes a chance and alienates himself from close colleagues, including a very angry team captain (), and after a few initial failures begins to doubt his own wisdom. Is baseball a game that can be played off the field? Or is it all about the muscle and heart that the guys put in the heat of the game? This low-key film does the astonishing task of keeping your interest while avoiding all the clichés of baseball movies: there are no sweeping victories, no swells of music to the sound of a home run in the nick of time. That said, Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian’s intelligent script is so determined to be brainy that at times it is more than a bit dry, and director Bennett Miller is so dead-set on making an anti-hoopla baseball film that it comes off almost dispassionate. Pitt is wonderfully subtle in the lead, emotionally volatile without ever showing off about it, and helps make up for the fact that the film runs about twenty minutes longer than it needs to.

, , , ,

USA, 2011

Directed by

Story by , Screenplay by , , based on the book Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game by

Cinematography by

Produced by , , Brad Pitt

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Film Festivals:  TIFF 2011

Cast Tags: , , , , ,, , , , , , , , , ,, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Academy Award Nominations
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Brad Pitt as “Billy Beane”)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jonah Hill as “Peter Brand”)
Best Film Editing (Christopher Tellefsen)
Best Picture (Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt, producers)
Best Sound Mixing (Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco, Ed Novick)
Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) (Screenplay by Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Motion Picture-Drama
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Brad Pitt)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Jonah Hill)
Best Screenplay (Stan Chervin, Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian)

New York Film Critics Awards
Best Actor (Brad Pitt)
Best Screenplay (Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin)

National Society of Film Critics Award
Best Actor (Brad Pitt)

Best Screenplay (Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin)

Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Brad Pitt)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Jonah Hill)

Writers Guild Award Nomination
Best Adapted Screenplay

British Academy Award Nominations
Best Leading Actor (Brad Pitt)
Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill)
Best Adapted Screenplay

Toronto Film Critics Award
Best Screenplay

Boston Film Critics Awards
Best Actor (Brad Pitt)
Best Screenplay

Chicago Film Critics Award
Best Screenplay, Adapted



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