Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt), is the general manager of the Oakland A’s, who has just had his best players poached by teams that can afford to pay a lot more. Fed up with how money twists the game, he listens to Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), who persuades him that certain players are being undervalued for trivial reasons, such as age, ability to catch, ability to hit the ball hard enough to run all the bases… Statistics revealed hidden strengths that could, when used in the right combinations, produce a winning season. Beane takes Brand’s advice going for the more “bang for our buck” strategy, then has to fight everyone else around him to follow it through. His job is at stake but Billy Beane hangs tight, believing that this formula could change the way people think about baseball, and the value of players.
I am not a big sports movie fan and at first sight, this movie for me would have been (and was) a pass for me. It was not until the night of the Oscars when I listened to the awards it was up for, and seen a few clips of the movie that it started to peek my interest.
What sealed the deal?
It is a true story. Always one to cheer for the underdog, I do like true stories of triumph against all odds. When I did rent Moneyball for Al (hubby) and I to watch, in my head, it was more for him. As busy as he is, it is hard to engage him in a movie, any movie, without him falling asleep.
He fell asleep.
But here is the kicker, or I guess the hitter, in this case… instead of turning it off at that point and seeing if he wanted to finish it the next evening, I kept on watching. Billy Beane sets out to beat the budget, and the big wigs who have far more years and experience than he, fight him all the way to the field.
I was invested, connected to Billy Beane and his vision of taking several lesser valued players, benched in some cases, and giving them back their dream, or at least the chance to reach for the stars again. And the magic of this? Is that they do just that, and the rest is history at its finest.
As for Al, well… he did finish the next night, which is not always the case, and when out with friends I heard him asking the guys if they had seen Moneyball as it was an incredible movie.
Highly recommended for anyone who likes true stories, great goals, Brad Pitt (or not), baseball (or not), an excellent drama that is easily family friendly.