by Rachel O’Kelley
“Moneyball” is this year’s latest and greatest sports film and it is sure to win over its audiences, whether they’re sports fans or just film fans.
Brad Pitt, a co-producer of this film, played the part of Billy Beane, a former baseball player who never found the athletic success he sought as a young man. Instead he applied his knowledge and love for the game of baseball as the general manager of the Oakland Athletics.
The film begins just after the Oakland A’s lost in the postseason game against the New York Yankees in 2001. The game devastated fans and players alike, resulting in the loss of some of their most integral players, including Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi. This is when we meet Billy Beane, the man who was responsible for turning them into a successful team after such a tremendous loss.
For many teams this would not be a difficult task, but for the Oakland A’s the job was daunting. They lacked the required budget to make a solid baseball club that could stand a chance against big-budget teams such as the Yankees.
Jonah Hill, known for his role in Superbad, plays the character of Peter Brand, a bright, young Yale graduate with a love for and immense knowledge of baseball analysis. Peter Brand is hired by Billy Beane to join him in choosing players to create a dream team based on an unconventional computer-generated analytical process, which disregarded player stereotypes or reputations, and relied solely on their ability to get on the bases.
The film is based on the book, “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game,” written in 2003 by Michael Lewis. The film and book were based on the true events of the team’s journey under the guidance of Billy Beane.
The real Billy Beane’s new process changed the game for many teams after he implemented it in the early 2000s, showing other general managers that they cannot simply scout players on what they can see, but on what they have done in the past.
For those hardcore baseball fans and the less enthusiastic, “Moneyball” takes audiences on an emotional journey, following the true events of the Oakland A’s. Viewers will laugh and perhaps even cry as they share in Beane’s struggle to make a downtrodden group of players into a cohesive and successful baseball club.
Additionally, audiences are invited to share in an aspect of baseball that few would have considered to be movie material. Who would have thought the business side of baseball would have success in the box office?
Sure enough, since the film’s release on Sept. 23, it has become an instant success with a wide range of fans. Metacritic.com, a movie review site that is determined by both critic and user opinions, awards the film with an 87 percent.
“The movie is an absolute triumph of culturally relevant filmmaking – a film that will thrill and fascinate sport junkies and non-fans alike,” said Rene Rodriguez of the Miami Herald. “If you like baseball, you will love this movie. If you hate baseball, you will still love this movie.”
Moneyball will pull at the heartstrings of viewers and will remind audiences everywhere to sit back and just enjoy the show.