Moneyball – An Intense Sports Drama
Based on a true story, ‘Moneyball’ demonstrates that how in 2002 season, a lowest budget Major League Baseball team ‘Oakland Atheletics’ created world record by winning 20 consecutive games. Team began the same season with 11 losses in a row. ‘Moneyball’ is an intense and moving film which is more about what happens in the background on team management level when it comes to war between intuition versus statistics.
Directed by – Bennett Miller
Story by – Stan Chervin
Based on – Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by ‘Michael Lewis’
Starring – Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pratt
The story centers on the general manager of Oakland Atheletics ‘Billy Beane’ (played by Brad Pitt). In his playing days, Billy Beane was picked in first round of MLB draft by New York Mets. He was considered to be an ‘All Star’ player, but he failed to meet the expectations of scout. After a short span of 5 years, he retired and joined ‘Oakland Atheletics (commonly known as Oakland A) as a scout. As a part of management, he was driven by his hatred of losing. This motivation actually helped in in Oakland A qualifying for World Series, but eventually lost. Now their best three players are hired by richer teams.
With the risk of losing three big players, Billy Beane has to rebuild the team with a small budget. During this rebuilding, he came across Peter Brand (played by Jonah Hill). Peter Brand is a Yale graduate who analyses players on the basis of cost benefit analysis for Cleveland.
Peter persuaded Beane that he should hire players based on key performance statistics that pointed to undervalued players. Based on Peter’s statistically driven algorithm, together they rebuilt the team which was rejected by everyone initially, later proved to be a game changer in the way baseball teams are put together.
Characters of the Movie
He is an inward person living alone. Failed marriage and scheduled meet ups with daughter summarizes his personal life. He is driven with a single purpose, which is to make Oakland A a championship team. He strongly believes in the theory of rebuilding the team according to Peter Brand’s theory and during this time faces strong opposition from Baseball community. Brad Pitt is a delight to watch in this role. Pitt convincingly absorbed the character and showcased the required intensity, drama and to some extent craziness.
A nerdy fat kid who loves statistics. Never played baseball but was the brains behind Oakland A team rebuilding based on his algorithm. Jonah Hill did an amazing job in playing this role which is understated as well as fascinating.
This 2011 released movie is really about the business world behind Baseball. Players don’t have major roles. If you are a fan of sports and drama, then this is a must watch movie for you. A small budget team manager and a numbers guy challenged the decades old baseball tradition of hiring players with their numerical analysis.