Thursday, October 27, 2011

Moneyball

I don't really know why it took such a long time for Benneth Miller to make another movie, especially after the triumph that he had with Capote -which dates back to 2005. That's more than 6 years between that film and his newest one Moneyball. I like Capote. It was shot in an incredibly cinematic way and had a great true story to boot. The same can be said of Moneyball which is based on Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane's incredible story, Beane basically reshaped the game of baseball with his sabermetrics system- an original way of drafting and trading his team's players through a computer generated system that some would call a number's game and other's complete bull and sheer luck. I'm with the numbers people. Anyone who loves numbers will probably dig this movie in the way it says the answers lie in the numbers than in the actual game itself. Purists be damned but it's a hell of a ride.

Steven Sodebergh was originally slated as director before he had creative differences with the film's producers. Then came Miller who brings a real sense of vitality to the film. He shoots every frame with the precise markings of a veteran. Sodebergh has kept his screenplay credit but the two main writers here are Aaron Sorkin -The Social Network script wiz- and Steve Zaillan. Sorkin is all over this one. His wit and brash "I'm too good for you" dialogue has not always had me at hello but he does more good than bad with this one. Brad Pitt plays Beane and he is just great, in fact an Oscar nomination awaits Pitt, Jonah Hill as Beane's wiz kid assistant brings incredibly sly comic relief and might get recognized too and wait until you see Phillip Seymour Hoffman as A's Manager Art Howe, he steals every scene he's in. The film is too long at close to 133 minutes -one too many fase endings- and the stuff with Beane, his troubled marriage and his only daughter is the kind of stuff that would have been left off if this wasn't a major studio release. Flaws and all this is the kind of movie Hollywood rarely makes these days, it takes its time to develop fleshed out characters and has incredibly detailed, nuanced scenes.

Blog Archive